Arena: Heisman Trophy On the Line
It is midway into the season and the Heisman trophy race is heating up and as the weeks go by, no one is letting their guard down. These players are breaking records, fighting for the coveted title and securing their spot in the NFL draft. Before we get to the contenders, let's talk about the process. Something to keep in mind: there are only three types of people who have the ability to vote for recipients. Sports journalists can vote because they are characterized as people who are informed and impartial. In total, there are 870 media voters. Previous Heisman winners also play a role and there are 57 eligible voters in the arena, but they don't have to. And last, are the fans. Each voter can pick three selections, ranking them in order from first to third. The first-place choices accumulate three points, the second-place selection gets two points, and the third-place gets one point. Voters have to make all three selections and cannot do a selection more than once. The voting is primarily done online and counted by the accounting firm Deolitte who gathers the information from the voters every year.
So keeping that in mind, here are the top choices this season.
Lamar Jackson: Sophomore QB, Louisville The Heisman Trophy race has a few game changers so it's premature to say that Jackson has clinched the award midseason. The Cardinals' record-breaking quarterback has captured the attention of the football world with a lethal offense. A running QB, Jackson has always relied on his superio r athleticism and the stats don't lie: he has racked up an astonishing 15 TDs so far this season and averages 9.2 yards per carry. The Heisman Trophy frontrunner has lead his team (no. 10) to an impressive 5-1 record, including a blowout against No. 2 Florida State, defeating them 63-20. Drawing comparisons to Cam Newton, the Louisville standout has been on pace to demolish records of Heisman trophy recipients in past years. With six games left in the season, Jackson has become the first player in ACC history with at least 15 passing TDs and 15 rushing TDs in a single season.
Deshaun Watson: Junior QB, Clemson Clemson's quarterback could be on his way to college football playoffs this year as he reigns in another successful year. Last season, he was a Heisman finalist, but he's going to have to put up some big numbers, supercreding his stats from last year. What is on his side is the big win against Louisville, where his matchup with Jackson played a crucial role in one of the most highly anticipated games of the season. Watson is averaging more than 347 ypg, an impressive improvement since the initial start to the season. The Tiger's offense is unstoppable this season, stacked with a talented receiving core under Watson's leadership. It all comes down to the big moment; he lead the team last season, but he has yet to stun in his third year with the Tigers. Evidently, Clemson will be a playoff contender and the last couple of games have been crucial, so we have to watch his progress.
JT Barret: Redshirt Junior QB, Ohio State Barrett worked his way up to starting QB last year mid way into the season and executed immediately. With only four starts, he led the league in scoring in conference games with 11 ppg. He isn't the most flashy guy on the field and is not going to put up those big numbers like some quarterbacks, but he can successfully lead the offense for the No. 2 team in the country. He plays the game with poise and puts that pressure on himself to take his team to the next level. Like some of the other Heisman trophy candidates, his dual-threat ability makes him hard to defend. The Buckeyes have a good chance of getting to the playoffs this season and remain undefeated with a 6-0 record. The stats won't bring him down too much if the Buckeyes win the national championship.
Jabrill Peppers: Redshirt Sophomore linebacker, Michigan Jabrill Peppers is a longshot, but don't count him out just yet. I was lucky enough to see the star LB in his high school days, as he stunned crowds right in my backyard. A standout at Bergen Catholic High School, I watched Peppers make waves as one of most highly rated recruits in the country. The last five Heisman Trophy recipients have all been offensive assansisn, with four of them being QBs. Can Peppers become the second primary defensive player to ever win the Heisman? He has the right amount of spotlight, playing for one of the top programs in the nation. He has 37 tackles this season and continues to help his team, making it look easy, including a blowout 78-0 last week. Although his highlight reel is stacked with big hits, he's going to need that breakout moment to make headlines and get back into it.
As of October 11, here are the guys taking the lead according to a poll by ESPN.
Tell us in the comments who you think has the best chance of winning the most prestigious title in college football this season.