- Logan Kaufman
Breaking Down the 2020 Heisman Candidates
The College Football season is only a couple days away and with that in mind, it's time to narrow down the Heisman candidates. Due to coronavirus concerns, the Big Ten and Pac-12 will not be playing their season. Those two conferences are always significant factors on how the season plays out and now will take away multiple top Heisman candidates. The biggest Heisman candidate who will be eliminated because the Big Ten is not playing their season is Ohio State quarterback, Justin Fields. Back in February, before any conferences made any decisions whether or not to play this season, Justin Fields had the best odds to win the Heisman. Now that he is out of the picture, it makes Trevor Lawrence the standout candidate.
Trevor Lawrence is the quarterback for the Clemson Tigers who led them to the National Championship last season. Lawrence is a fantastic player who put up outstanding numbers in 2019 and he will look to do the same this season. A benefit that Lawrence will have this year is that he will not have to compete with the top-tier Big Ten and Pac-12 teams as he did last season. There are three other quarterbacks that I believe could compete with Trevor Lawrence to be the Heisman winner. Any of these four great quarterbacks could win the Heisman, it will just come down to who can move the ball with their passing and their running game.
The person who I consider most likely to win the Heisman award is Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. As stated in the previous paragraph, Lawrence is an outstanding player who could arguably outperform any other quarterback this season. Trevor Lawrence proved last season that he can both run and pass the ball. He passed the ball for over 3600 yds while having a 66% completion rate. Lawrence also ran for over 500 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Taking all of his stats into account from last season, it is fair to assume that he will demolish those stats this upcoming season due to a lack of competition.
Choosing a runner up for the Heisman was a very hard choice but I believe that Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has the best odds to win besides Trevor Lawrence. Sam Ehlinger had a great 2019 season, passing for 32 touchdowns and running for 7. Ehlinger also raised his completion percentage by 8% from the 2018 season. With those details in mind, it seems very reasonable for Sam Ehlinger to compete with Trevor Lawrence when it comes down to stats. Ehlinger has a lot of potential to be great this season and the lack of competition is another great benefit that should serve him well.
My third Heisman candidate is Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. Bo Nix had a pretty good season in 2019, passing for 16 touchdowns and running for 7 more. Coming into the 2020 season, Bo Nix has a couple of key factors that can help him compete for the Heisman. The first factor is that both Joe burrow and Tua Tagovailoa are now in the NFL. This could be very important because, without those dominating quarterbacks, Bo Nix may be able to lead the Auburn Tigers to an SEC West Title. The second beneficial factor for Bo Nix is that Auburn hired a new offensive coordinator. Last season Bo struggled to stay consistent, which points directly to the offensive coordinator. Auburn hired a new offensive coordinator over the offseason hoping to fix that problem. All things considered, Bo Nix can certainly be on the list of potential Heisman winners.
The final quarterback that I could see competing for the Heisman is D'Eriq king. D'Eriq King is the quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes who will be looking to make his senior year a great one. King played his first four seasons as a redshirt at Houston. King put up great numbers at Houston, passing for almost 5000 yards and 50 touchdowns while rushing for 1,400 yards and 28 touchdowns. Not only did King have very impressive numbers over his last few seasons, but he now has lots of experience playing at a higher level/ This leads me to believe that he will compete for the Heisman honors this season. King also has some extra motivation knowing that the subsided Hurricanes are lying their trust in him to get them competing in the ACC once again. In conclusion, D'Eriq King is likely the “Dark Horse” of the Heisman race, but don't be surprised if he is one of the most popular names in the discussion come playoff time.
To sum everything up, there are many great Heisman candidates this year, but the four players that I consider as the main competitors are Trevor Lawrence, Bo Nix, Sam Ehlinger, and D'Eriq King. All four of those players are fantastic quarterbacks who can run with the ball as well as throw dimes way down the field. We are only one day away from the college football season beginning and we are about to see which of these players will bring their best game. Based on preseason predictions, almost everyone believes that Trevor Lawrence is the only player to even discuss winning the Heisman, but there are many players out there to prove the analysts wrong. With the main candidates for the Heisman laid out, the only thing left to do is watch the season play out!
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