"From now on, your name will be always followed by 'Heisman Trophy Winner.'" This is said at the Heisman Trophy Ceremony every year, right before the Heisman Trophy is given out to the best player in college football. This trophy is usually given out to quarterbacks and running backs as they are usually the most exciting on the team. The last two times the Heisman Winner did not line up in the backfield, the trophy went to a Michigan player. Desmond Howard was a wide receiver when he won it in 1991 and Charles Woodson was a cornerback when he won it in 1997. Besides those two, you have to go back to 1949 to when a player that did not line up in the backfield won the Heisman. This was Leon Hard, a defensive end from Notre Dame. The youngest player to win the Heisman was Lamar Jackson in 2016 (19 years, 337 days) and the oldest was Chris Weinke in 2000 (28 years, 131 days). In this article, I am going to give 10 players that I think have the best shot at the Heisman Trophy and rank the top 5.
Bo Nix QB Auburn
Nix had a solid freshman year at Auburn, leading them to a 9-4 record with a loss to Minnesota in the Outback Bowl. Nix had 2542 passing yards on 57.6% completion, 16 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 313 rushing yards, and 7 rushing touchdowns. Nix was a 5 star out of high school. He should benefit a lot this year from the hiring of Chad Morris, former Arkansas and SMU coach to be the offensive coordinator. Coach Gus Malzahn is going to have to realize the SEC is not a run the ball and play defense type of conference. If Auburn wants to beat teams like Alabama and LSU, they are going to have to pass more with Nix.
Penei Sewell OL Oregon
I know this might be a weird one but Sewell is regarded by many as the best at his position in a long time. He holds one of the craziest stats I have seen in recent memory. He has played 678 pass-block snaps and has only allowed 1 sack in his entire career. With Justin Herbert gone, Sewell is going to anchor the offensive line and make sure whoever is playing quarterback is going to have time to pass. A couple of people have even said that Sewell is the best player in all of college football. You will start to hear his name more once the 2021 NFL Draft rolls around, but if Oregon can win some games this year, look for Sewell to be a dark horse in Heisman conversations.
Sam Ehlinger QB Texas
Sam Ehlinger has been great for the Texas Longhorns at quarterback over his two years that he started. Ehlinger is a hard-nosed, dual-threat quarterback who has brought Texas back from mediocrity. Last year, he had 3663 passing yards on 65.2% completion, 32 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 663 rushing yards, and 7 rushing touchdowns. For Ehlinger to even be considered for the Heisman Trophy, Texas will likely have to make at least a New Years Six bowl. He has a chance to prove himself in front of all of the voters as he travels to Baton Rouge for a rematch with LSU early in the year. Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay are gone, so if Ehlinger wants to contend for the Heisman, he is going to have to find a new #1 receiver.
Ja'Marr Chase WR LSU
Ja'Marr Chase put up the best statistical season by a college football wide receiver in 2019. He had 84 receptions for 1780 yards and 20 touchdowns. Chase was a huge benefactor of the revamped offense at LSU. He averaged over 20 yards per receptions and would put up insane game logs. He had 10 receptions for 229 yards and 4 touchdowns against Vanderbilt, 8 receptions for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns against Ole Miss, and 9 receptions for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns against Clemson in the National Championship. Chase is going to be the featured receiver again in this offense. Even though Joe Brady and Joe Burrow are gone, the offense should still be pretty similar to how it was in 2019 with co-offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger taking over the offensive coordinator duties.
Spencer Rattler QB Oklahoma
Spencer Rattler is the only player on this list that hasn't proven himself. He was the backup to Jalen Hurts as a true freshman last year. Rattler only played in 3 games, so he is still a freshman. Spencer Rattler is pretty much guaranteed the starting job for a school that has produced 3 straight Heisman Finalists over the last three years. Those quarterbacks averaged 4081 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns, 833 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns. Any quarterback who puts up these numbers in a season should be considered for the Heisman Trophy. Lincoln Riley knows how to pick his guys and the fact that he didn't go pursue another graduate transfer shows his confidence in Rattler.
5. Sam Howell QB North Carolina
Sam Howell quietly had one of the best seasons in all of college football last year as a true freshman. He passed for 3641 yards on a 61.4% completion, 38 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. Howell was originally committed to Florida State before new coach Mack Brown convinced him to go to North Carolina. As the other ACC teams not named Clemson are rebuilding, North Carolina could have a 10 win season. If Howell can pass for 4000 or more yards and 40 or more touchdowns, while leading North Carolina to the ACC Championship Game and a high-quality bowl game, Heisman consideration may not sound so obscure for the North Carolina quarterback.
4. D'Eriq King QB Miami (FL)
D'Eriq King has the chance to be one of the most electrifying quarterbacks college football has seen since Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. He had an okay 2019. King played in 4 games before he decided he was going to redshirt and transfer. In 11 games in 2018, King passed for 2982 yards, 36 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. On the ground, he had 686 yards and 14 touchdowns. For King to even be in consideration for the Heisman Trophy, Miami has to be a good team this year. If everyone around King steps up and new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee creates a system that King is comfortable with, look for D'Eriq King to break out and enter the Heisman conversation.
3. Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback in college football. He has led Clemson to 2 National Championship games in his 2 years as a starter. Last year he had 3665 passing yards on 65.8% completion, 36 passing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He also ran for 563 yards and 9 touchdowns. The most impressive of these 9 rushing touchdowns came in the semifinals against Ohio State where he beat everybody to the sideline and outran all of the defensive backs for a 67-yard touchdown. The reason why Trevor Lawrence is at #3 is the uncertainty at receiver with Justyn Ross gone. Nevertheless, Lawrence will be at the top of the Heisman voting and should be a top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2. Justin Fields QB Ohio State
Ohio State had two Heisman Finalists last year and Fields was one of them. In his first year as the starting quarterback for Ohio State, he had 3273 yards on 67.2% completion, 41 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. On the ground, he had 484 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fields will be relied on a lot more this year without JK Dobbins at running back. More receivers will have to emerge for him as he 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th leading receivers from last year are all gone. Look for Garrett Wilson to emerge and break out. Fields was one of the top quarterbacks in the country last year and I don't see why he won't be this year.
1. Travis Etienne RB Clemson
Travis Etienne was one of the best running backs in college football last year. Many thought he would enter the NFL Draft, but he decided to stay for another year. Last year, Travis Etienne had 207 carries for 1614 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground and 37 receptions for 432 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air. Originally, Lawrence and Etienne were swapped, but because of the injury to Justyn Ross, Etienne will be relied on heavily as the teams returning leader in carries, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Etienne will likely need to eclipse 2000 yards to get the Heisman, which he should be more than capable of doing with an increased workload this season. Etienne will win the Heisman Trophy because of his amazing speed, agility, and ability to break tackles. He is the most exciting player to watch in college football, and should only get better as a senior.
Thanks for reading: Who will win the Heisman Trophy in 2020? Comment down below if you would change anything. Who do you think will be the Heisman Finalists?