The Heisman Trophy is College Football‘s most coveted award and the 2018 race has begun before games are even played. Schools are lobbying for their best player to be named to a number of watch lists and watching these talented athletes put on a show for the fans is truly special. There can only be one winner once December comes and the hype is building up. With that being said, let’s take a look at some players that could punch their tickets to New York City at the conclusion of the 2018 regular season. This list is in no particular order.
Will Grier: QB West Virginia
2017 Stats: 250/388 3490 Yds 34 TD’s 12 INT’s
Grier enters the 2018 with some serious hype after an extremely productive 2017 campaign. With David Sills V returning at wide receiver, Grier will have an extremely reliable weapon and the two could put up some serious numbers. This is easily the most talented team West Virginia has had in quite some time and if Grier can put up even bigger numbers in 2018, he will have a solid chance of making it to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
Bryce Love: RB Stanford
2017 Stats: 263 Att, 2116 Yds, 19 TD’s
News flash! Bryce Love is really good and so is Stanford’s offensive line. After rushing for 783 yards his sophomore year behind Christian McCaffrey, Love exploded for 2118 yards in his junior season. There is no doubt that he is an exceptional talent that will wreak havoc on opposing defenses every time he steps on the field. Stanford is one of the smartest teams in the country and they can always find creative ways to get Love the ball. If he bursts into the second level, good luck stopping him.
Trace McSorley: QB Penn State
2017 Stats: 284/427, 3570 Yds, 28 TD’s, 10 INT’s, 144 Att, 491 Yds, 11 TD’s
Don’t tell Trace McSorley that he’s too small, you’ll regret it later. With Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki, and DaeSean Hamilton in the NFL, Penn State‘s signal caller will have the target on his back as opposing defenses will try to and shut him down. With incredibly athletic and tall wide receivers like Juwan Johnson and incoming freshman Justin Shorter, the high passes won’t be an issue. Then when you factor in players like DeAndre Thompkins, KJ Hamler, Mac Hippenhammer and Brandon Polk who having blazing speed, McSorley’s receivers will make him look good and his chances of making it to New York in December are high.
Jarrett Stidham: QB Auburn
2017 Stats: 246/370, 3158 Yds, 18 TD’s 6 INT’s
Auburn was one win away from an SEC Championship and one of the main reasons of their success was Jarrett Stidham. The Baylor transfer led the Tigers to a 26-14 upset win over Alabama to reach the SEC title game against Georgia and this team has high hopes going into 2018. Stidham has an extremely strong arm and can even improvise with his feet if the play breaks down. Look for him to be the most consistent quarterback in the SEC this season.
Jonathan Taylor: RB Wisconsin
2017 Stats: 299 Att, 1977 Yds, 13 TD’s
Now that Saquon Barkley is gone, Jonathan Taylor is the best running back in the Big Ten Conference. The rising sophomore had an extremely productive freshman year and will be on Heisman lists for years to come. With possibly the best offensive line in all of College Football blocking for him, a boring offense will become even more boring but even harder to stop. Seriously though, Wisconsin’s offense can put you to sleep.
Khalil Tate: QB Arizona
2017 Stats: 111/179 1591 Yds, 14 TD’s 9 INT’s, 153 Att, 1411 Yds, 12 TD’s
PAC 12 defenses beware. Khalil Tate is an absolute machine and will make you look absolutely silly. His blazing speed is the thing that really stands out and he will thrive in under new coach Kevin Sumlin. Tate’s highlight-reel plays will keep him in contention but he will need to improve his passing stats if he wants to make it to New York in December. Regardless, he will be a fun player to watch in 2018.
Jake Fromm: QB Georgia
2017 Stats: 181/291, 2615 Yds, 24 TD’s 7 INT’s
At this time last year, it was undecided as to whether Jake Fromm would be the starting quarterback because of Jacob Eason. Once Eason got hurt, Fromm led the Dawgs to the National Championship game. With Eason transferring to Washington, it’s Fromm’s job to lose. His strong football IQ will keep him in the Heisman conversation for years to come and the Dawgs will be the clear cut SEC East favorite once again.
Kyler Murray: QB Oklahoma
2017 Stats: 18/21 359 Yds, 3 TD’s 0 INT’s
Yes, Kyler Murray was also a first round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics. Murray’s interesting skill-set makes him one of the most lethal quarterbacks even though he has seen limited action due to Baker Mayfield being ahead of him. His arm and legs are extremely dangerous and there is no doubt that he can step in to fill the shoes of Baker Mayfield. Maybe not to the same magnitude but he will make a serious impact.
Tua Tagovailoa OR Jalen Hurts: QB Alabama
Hurts: 154/255, 2081 Yds, 17 TD’s 1 INT, 154 Att, 855 Yds, 8 TD’s
Tagovailoa: 49/77 636 Yds, 11 TD’s 2 INT’s, 27 Att, 133 Yds, 2 TD’s
Is it really a Heisman conversation without an Alabama player in it? Now here is where things get very interesting. Nick Saban has a quarterback battle on his hands and it should come as no surprise that whoever goes under center for the Crimson Tide will make headlines. Whether it’s Hurts or Tagovailoa remains a question mark as fall camp has already begun. Hurts led the Tide to the National Title game. However, Tagovailoa came in during the second half and won the game for Alabama. Let the debate begin!
J.K. Dobbins: RB Ohio State
2017 Stats: 194 Att, 1403 Yds, 7 TD’s, 22 Rec, 135 Yds, 1 TD
Dobbins emerged as a shining star in the Ohio State offense as a freshman in 2017 and he is poised to take the next big step in order to become one of the more elite running backs in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State is a consistent team that always puts a talented group on the field. Dobbins will be the feature back once again and he will do some damage in 2018 and beyond.
AJ Dillon: RB Boston College
Shea Patterson: QB Michigan
Jake Browning: QB Washington
Rodney Anderson: RB Oklahoma
D’Andre Swift: RB Georgia
McKenzie Milton: QB UCF
Drew Lock: QB Missouri
Nick Fitzgerald: QB Mississippi State
Kelly Bryant: QB Clemson
Ed Oliver: DT Houston