Heisman Watch: Week 5

Story posted September 28, 2022 in

After four weeks of college football, several candidates have already separated themselves from the rest in the Heisman race. Let’s take a look at some of those candidates.

CJ Stroud / Bryce Young / Caleb Williams

These are by far the most prominent and most likely candidates for the Heisman trophy.

CJ Stroud has thrown for 1,222 yards with 16 touchdowns and one interception. Bryce Young won the award last year, so there may be a little voter fatigue with him, but he is off to another strong start with 13 passing touchdowns and two interceptions. Finally, Caleb Williams, who is on a new-look USC team, should bounce back after he struggled in a 17-14 win against Oregon State last week.

Hendon Hooker

Tennessee is off to a hot start with four wins and zero losses, including two wins against teams that were ranked at the time. Last week, the Vols beat No. 20 Florida 38-33 in a shootout after beating No. 17 ranked Pittsburgh 34-27 in Week 2. Hooker has thrown for eight touchdowns and rushed for three touchdowns.

Tennessee is currently ranked fourth in points per game and first in yards per game. The Vols have to play Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia later this year. If they win one or two of those games and Hooker goes off, he could have an argument to be the Heisman winner.

Michael Penix Jr.

Michael Penix Jr. had a rough time last year at Indiana, throwing for only four touchdowns with seven interceptions before missing the rest of the season with an injury. But this year, after he transferred to Washington, he’s stepped up his game.

Penix re-announced his presence with an amazing performance in Week 3 against the then-ranked No. 11 Michigan State Spartans, throwing for 397 yards and four touchdowns. This year, he has thrown for 1,388 yards which currently leads all of college football and has connected for 12 touchdowns to only one interception.

Jalon Daniels

Jalon Daniels has completely changed football life at Kansas.

The Jayhawks have started with four wins and zero losses. To put this into perspective, the last time Kansas won more than three games in a season was in 2009 when they only won five. He has 890 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, only one pick, and 326 rushing yards with four rushing touchdowns.

If Daniels can keep this up, Kansas will be ranked in the Top 25 by the end of the year and he will have a legitimate Heisman case.

Blake Corum

My first non-quarterback on the watch list is Blake Corum.

Michigan hasn’t played against much competition yet, but later on in the year the Wolverines have to face highly ranked teams like Penn State and Ohio State. In these games, they will need to rely on Corum to carry them on offense. So far through four games, he has 478 rushing yards on more than seven yards per carry with nine rushing touchdowns.

If Michigan beats Ohio State and Corum has a dominant performance, that could maybe be a signature Heisman moment for him.

Brock Bowers

Finally, we reach Brock Bowers.

Yes, you heard that right, a tight end is in the running for the Heisman trophy.

Bowers has 276 receiving yards on 18.4 yards per reception with two receiving touchdowns. In addition, he has only carried the ball three times, but he’s gained 82 yards and picked up three touchdowns. Bowers is an absolute freak at the tight end position and is currently doing it all for Georgia, the best team in college football. Even if he doesn’t win the trophy, he's easily in the conversation for best player in college football.


Aaron Jurkowitz is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism To contact him, email ahj5136@psu.edu.