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Oct. 16, 2020 - Michael Stewart

2020-21 Heisman Trophy Watch Top 5

Introduction: With the 2020-21 college football under way, I will feature my top 5Heisman Trophy candidates who I believe are leading the way at this point of the season. This list could certainly change as we move forward into the season and through the bowl games and in all likelihood; we could see many new faces making a bid to capture the Heisman Trophy this year in college football. This will be a series of four with the final article coming out sometime after the season ends. . So let’s get right to it and present my 1st edition of the top 5 Heisman Trophy candidates in college football:

  • Trevor Lawrence (QB) Clemson: Lawrence as expected has been in the spotlight from day one as the projected 1st overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The junior Quarterback has thrown for 1140 yards with ten touchdowns and no interceptions and he has yet to air it out as Clemson has been playing more of a balance offensive attack thus far. Look for Lawrence to start passing more as the season progresses.
  • Justin Fields (QB) Ohio State: Fields is a little behind the eight ball from the other Heisman candidates on this list as he has yet to play a game; so he will have only 8 games to showcase his talents and emerge as a Heisman Trophy winner. Fields has the talent in his arm and legs to pull it off, but it won’t easy as he must get a few blowout victories to pad his stats to stay in contention.
  • Travis Etienne (RB) Clemson: Etienne has been the Tigers most lethal weapon this season rushing for 392 yards (7 yards per carry) and another 245 yards as a receiver with a total of 5 touchdowns. Like Lawrence, expect these numbers to increase as we move further into the season and expect Etienne load to increase.
  • Mac Jones (QB) Alabama: Jones has picked right up where Tua Tagovailoa left off throwing for 1101 yards, 8 touchdowns and only 1 interception.  Jones QBR is a solid 95.3 and gives the Crimson Tide a steady presence under center while distributing the ball to all his weapons on offense. Not sure if Jones will remain in my top 5 as he is not likely to throw the ball exclusively in the Alabama offensive scheme as they are more of a run first, pass second offense.
  • Najee Harris (RB) Alabama: Harris has been a scoring machine for Alabama with 10 touchdowns already to go along with 347 yards rushing and 78 yards receiving. Harris numbers are expected to climb based on the Alabama offensive system and should be the main cog in their offense.

Final Thoughts: With 4 out of the 5 candidates representing either Clemson or Alabama at this point, how much would this effect the voting as teammates could affect the others chances of winning. It’s happened before in college football where multiple players on the same team were Heisman candidates and the impact didn’t seem to affect the outcome. These five will bear watching as the season progresses and so will other candidates who are not far behind. The winner could be determined well after the season as bowl games do play a vital part in the decision and it could sway some votes to and from a player. Keep an eye out for my 2nd edition of the Heisman Trophy watch of the my top 5 this season.