Heisman Watch: Week 9
Saquon Barkley appears to be the current frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, but the season is far from over. All three of the players on this list have huge showdowns coming up this weekend and a big stage to make their case for the award, including a clash between Barkley and Barrett. The picture should be a lot clearer come Sunday morning.
Hunter’s Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Saquon Barkley is the most talented player to ever put on a Penn State uniform. That statement alone displays the value he brings to the table for the Nittany Lions. Barkley has proven every game why he is the best player in college football. His team is currently ranked No. 2 in the country and boasts an undefeated record of 7-0 while playing in the vastly talented Big Ten.
Barkley gives you the total package offensively, as he is effective in the run game, pass game and even special teams. He had himself quite the performance during Penn State’s 42-13 dominant victory over Michigan, as he scored three touchdowns to go along with 176 all-purpose yards. This game was extremely crucial for not Penn State’s national championship aspirations, but also for Barkley’s Heisman odds.
The LaDainian Tomlinson comparisons should not be taken for granted, as Saquon Barkley’s physique is very out of the ordinary. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 225 lbs, Barkley has the size to run over any defender standing in his way, as well as the pure speed to break away and take it to the house.
His football IQ is also impressive, as he possesses the footwork to change direction instantly and the patience to read a defense and find the running lanes to work with. Barkley currently sits with 1,478 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns for the season. If he keeps up this pace, it’s going to look near impossible for anyone else besides him to win the Heisman trophy this season.
Josh’s pick: J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
As the leader of the nation’s top offense in points per game, Barrett has been on fire the last few weeks. In each of the last four games, the Ohio State offense has scored more than 50 points and Barrett has thrown for three or more touchdowns in every game during that span.
In Ohio State’s last game, Barrett lit up the Nebraska defense recording 325 passing yards on 27 completions and 48 rushing yards on 10 carries. Barrett accounted for all 56 of Ohio State’s points against Nebraska by tossing five touchdown passes for the second time in four weeks, and adding another two scores on the ground.
Ohio State’s offense is firing on all cylinders coming into this week’s matchup at home against Penn State. With a great performance and a win this week, Barrett has the chance to leapfrog Saquon Barkley and become the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Joe’s pick: Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
After a year that most Irish fans across the country would label as disappointing, Notre Dame is right in the thick of the College Football Playoff race. The quick turnaround could be attributed to the return of the defense, but the blossoming of Josh Adams into a college star is the main reason why.
Through seven games, Adams is seventh in the nation in rushing yards with 967 after dismantling USC for 191 and three touchdowns. His 9.2 yards per carry are third in the country behind Heisman candidate Bryce Love and Khalil Tate. Adams has needed to carry the load for the Irish as Brandon Wimbush has struggled at quarterback.
His game against the Trojans is great because it was in a rivalry game, but they struggled stopping the run against Utah the week before. Adams needs a strong performance this week as NC State has a defense that can stop the run and a game-changer in Bradley Chubb that could make life miserable for the Notre Dame offense.
Hunter Pitcoff is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Senior / Journalism
Hunter Pitcoff is involved in multiple clubs and organizations in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. He is the executive producer and an on-camera personality for Penn State Sports Night, the news producer for PSN News, and a member of the Centre County Report. Hunter holds a part-time live events support position with Penn State Athletics too. On top of that, he also does a weekly radio show with CommRadio called The Shootaround and hosts the podcasts “Ball Don’t Lie” and “Run N’Gun” with Penn State Sports Night. Hunter hopes to pursue a career in the sports media industry when he graduates in 2021.