Next to winning the National Championship, the Heisman is another big thing to win. You become the member of a very prestigious class and that trophy is given to the best player in the country. This year, the list of potential guys that can win it will be stacked. I know we have some time before the season starts but I wanted to tackle this topic and share with you who I feel can get to New York in December. Enjoy.
– DeShaun Watson (Clemson): He’s the definition of a true duel threat and he was by far the most electrifying player in the game last year. What’s there not to like? He can sit in the pocket, throw the football over the top of defenses, he has terrific footwork and he’s able to run with the football in his hands for long gains. What can’t this kid do? He carried this Tigers team on his back and led them to one of their best seasons in school history and took them to the National Championship game where they would fall to Alabama. This is when you know someone is well-respected because of what they do on the field. I remember in that title game, Saban elected to kick it onside so Watson couldn’t get his hands on the ball. If receiver Mike Williams can stay healthy this fall, Watson will have a nice group of receivers to throw the ball too including Artavis Scott, Deon Cain and tight end Jordan Leggett. This Clemson team goes as far as DeShaun Watson takes them.
– Leonard Fournette (LSU): This award was his to win at the beginning of the season last year. He was dominating everytime he stepped on the football field. He’s a physical back with the speed to cut inside, cut on a dime, bounce to the outside and get into the open field for a big gain or six points. I think after getting off to such a hot start at the beginning of the year then struggling at the end of the season, he will enter this year with a chip on his shoulder. Hopefully he can get that invite to New York City especially with all the improvement around him in Baton Rouge.
– Christian McCaffrey (Stanford): After the stellar season he had last year, I think he will have more of a bigger audience. Many stated he didn’t win the Heisman last year because of playing later than everyone else. He will be the go to guy on this Stanford offense now that Kevin Hogan is gone and the major point of emphasis of many defensive coordinators. I love his versatility and how he sees the entire field. He has great burst when the ball is handed off to him and he’s patient meaning he waits for the hole to open then gets through with that speed and he’s a big time factor on special teams as well. His ability to carry the offense and make a difference in the return game makes him a candidate already.
– Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma): He was one of my favorite players to watch in college football last year. He was a game changer and defenses never knew what to expect from him. He’s just as effective with his feet as he is throwing the football and his solid season in 2015 led the Oklahoma Sooners to the Big-12 title outright and an appearance in the college football playoff. When I look at it, he could be the only senior that can make a run for the Heisman in 2016. Another thing that makes this guy special is he doesn’t throw for 300 yards a game but he makes plays for his team when necessary and the stats don’t lie. He threw 35 touchdown passes and only five interceptions last season. I’ve never seen a guy at the college level show as much grit, toughness and leadership like Baker Mayfield does.
– Dalvin Cook (Florida State): The running back position was stacked last season in the sport of college football. You had Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Samaje Perine, Nick Chubb, C.J. Prosise, Derrick Henry and then you have a guy who was lost in the mix by the name of Dalvin Cook. He was very effective for Jimbo and the Seminoles or Florida State and he finished the 2015 season with 229 carries, 1,691 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns and he averaged almost 7.5 yards per carry. He’s so explosive, he sees where he wants to go and he gets there and he’s a threat to score or make a big play everytime he touches the football. With Florida State having questions at quarterback and if they are going to be the biggest threat to Watson and Clemson this season, Dalvin Cook will need to show up big time for them moving forward.
Honorable Mention: QB DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), RB Royce Freeman (Oregon), RB Nick Chubb (Georgia), WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama), RB Elijah Hood (North Carolina), QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State).