With the 2019 college football season just around the corner, here's a look at which players could take home the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the most outstanding player in college football.
Last year’s Heisman runner-up threw for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions and ran for five scores in 15 games. Tagovailoa led last year’s Heisman watch for most of the season, but an ankle sprain slowed him down in the final weeks.
Lawrence had a sensational freshman season with 3,280 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions – including a 347-yard, three-score performance in the national championship game – despite splitting time with Kelly Bryant for Clemson’s first five games.
Taylor rushed for 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2018, a year after bursting onto the scene as a freshman with 1,977 yards and 13 scores. He’ll remain the focal point of Wisconsin’s offense with LI’s Jack Coan a potential candidate to start under center.
Fromm has been one of the nation’s top quarterbacks since taking over as the starter at Georgia in his freshman season. He’s coming off of a sophomore year in which he threw for 2,761 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games.
Herbert returned to school after a junior season that saw him throw for 3,141 yards, 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games. He’ll have some consistency this year, with all but one player returning on offense for Oregon.
A quarterback who transferred to Oklahoma has won the Heisman in each of the last two seasons. Can Jalen Hurts follow in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray’s footsteps? Hurts, who transferred from Alabama after graduating a year early, put up strong numbers in each of his first two seasons with the Crimson Tide before being supplanted by Tua Tagovailoa as the starter.
Trevor Lawrence grabbed most of the headlines, but Etienne was a crucial cog in Clemson’s offense, rushing for an ACC-best 1,658 yards and an NCAA-best 24 touchdowns in 15 games. His 7.2 yards per carry led the ACC and were third in the nation. In the past 10 seasons, only two running backs have won the Heisman.
Fields, a dual-threat quarterback with a strong arm, was one of the jewels of the 2018 recruiting class alongside Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. However, he saw little playing time as a freshman at Georgia and transferred to Ohio State to replace Heisman finalist Dwayne Haskins. He’s able to play immediately due to an NCAA ruling.
Ehlinger took a big step forward in his first season as the Longhorns’ starter, throwing for 3,292 yards, 25 touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for 482 yards and 16 touchdowns in 14 games. If Texas is in contention for the Big 12 title – and especially if he has a big game against Oklahoma on Oct. 12 – Ehlinger’s name could get some buzz.
Martinez is a trendy preseason pick thanks to his dual-threat ability (2,617 passing yards, 629 rushing yards, 25 total touchdowns as a freshman) and his projected growth under Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost, who helped make McKenzie Milton a Heisman contender at UCF. However, Nebraska will need to greatly improve on its 4-8 record for Martinez to be in serious consideration.
Swift rushed for 1,049 yards and 10 touchdowns last year while splitting time in the Bulldogs’ backfield last year with Elijah Holyfield, but now he has the featured back role to himself.
Harris rushed for only 783 yards and four touchdowns last year as part of the Crimson Tide’s tailback committee, but he takes over as the lead runner in the Alabama offense after the departures of Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs.
Injuries led to a down year for Dillon in 2018, as he only rushed for 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns after a 1,589-yard, 14-touchdown freshman season. He’ll need to return to that 2017 form and keep Boston College near the top of the ACC to keep his name in the conversation.
Only two receivers ever have won the Heisman: Tim Brown (1987) and Desmond Howard (1991). Both of them did more than just catch passes, though, meaning any wideout who hopes to earn an invite to Manhattan in December likely will need to follow suit. Enter Moore, who led the nation with 114 catches, was third in all-purpose yards (1,258 receiving, 213 rushing, 744 return) and scored 14 touchdowns (12 receiving, two rushing) in 13 games – all as a freshman.