Heisman watch 2018: week 1
Another year, another hype train of Heisman Trophy speculation. 2018 is an especially intriguing year for trying to predict which of college football’s superstars will take home the hardware, and that is thanks to a diverse pool of candidates this year.
There were many payers who were in the mix to win it last year, such as Stanford's Bryce Love, as well as Houston’s Ed Oliver, who will attempt to be the first defensive player since Charles Woodson of Michigan to win the award. With that said, let’s take a look at three players who have the best chances to win the 2018 Heisman Trophy at the outset of the new college football season.
1.) Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Bryce Love automatically gets a nod here because of his second place finish to Baker Mayfield in last season’s voting, but that alone sure doesn’t mean that a likely stellar performance in his Senior season with Stanford won’t give him a real shot at the Heisman.
Love was adept at breaking off long runs in bunches last season, with 13 rushes of 50-plus yards. The Coaching staff will certainly be a big help, with Love’s 263 rushing attempts in 2017 signifying a willingness to prioritize the running game on the part of head coach David Shaw. Love gets even a helping hand from the Cardinal’s schedule, as a tilt against Notre Dame in non-conference play will give Love a chance to showcase his abilities to a national audience on primetime television.
2.) Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
Grier had an impressive year as the leader of the Mountaineer offense, passing for 3490 yards and 34 touchdowns. The Mountaineers have a pass-heavy offense, and Grier will certainly benefit.
Former Big 12 QB rivals Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph are now in the NFL, which leaves Grier head and shoulders above the rest of the conference’s passers. Any good Heisman candidate needs some help along the way, and Grier will surely have some as David Sills V will be heavily relied on for big plays. Grier will be looking to finish out his college career on a high note after some ups and downs, thanks to a lengthy suspension at Florida.
3.) Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State
These words in many ways define McSorley’s career as a football player dating back to high school. He was recruited as a safety by most schools after being deemed too small to play QB on the college level. Once given a chance to be Penn State’s Quarterback, he began to shine, yet still faced skepticism.
With two quietly prolific seasons at the helm of the Nittany Lions’ offense, McSorley might just be able to silence his critics with a Heisman trophy win. He possesses innate running ability and escapability from the pocket, and is also more than capable of making big throws downfield.
While key targets from 2017 like Saquon Barkley, DaeSean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki have moved on to the NFL, McSorley will still have junior wide receiver Juwan Johnson to throw to, as well as five-star recruit in freshman Justin Shorter.
With the Big Ten East seemingly as close among the top teams as ever, McSorley has a good chance to hear his name called in New York come the end of the season.
Jeremy Ganes is a Sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.