The most prestigious award in college football is the Heisman Trophy. In recent years, quarterbacks have dominated the award, so fans looking ahead to who could win the award, should look in that direction. With that said, here are 5 top contenders for the 2020 Heisman Trophy.
Note: Odds found here.
1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson Tigers (+400)
There has been hype around Lawrence for years now, but he has yet to win the Heisman Trophy. The 2020 season will likely be his last chance to do it before he heads to the pros. There are plenty of reasons to believe that he can win the award this season. He is the quarterback on one of the best teams in the country. Lawrence has already thrown for 6,945 yards and 66 touchdowns in his career. It should be expected that Lawrence will have the stats to win the award. He will also have a chance to get his Heisman moment when the Tigers play Notre Dame.
While he is an incredible player, there are reasons to doubt his Heisman case. First, he will likely split the votes with his running back, Travis Etienne. If Clemson does well and they both have great seasons, Etienne will get a lot of votes too. Lawrence will also have an easy schedule. One loss could cost the team a College Football Playoff (CFP) appearance and it could also cost Lawrence the Heisman.
2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State Buckeyes (+400)
Last season, Fields started for Ohio State in his first year after transferring in from Georgia. He was a star with 3,273 passing yards and 41 touchdown passes. Fields also only threw three interceptions all year as he led the Buckeyes to the CFP. Any chance of splitting votes is gone with J.K. Dobbins in the NFL. If he has a similar season, with some big wins and moments in the Big Ten, Fields has as good of a chance as anyone to win the Heisman.
If the Buckeyes succeed, Fields will get all the spotlight. He will, however, need to put up great numbers, especially if Lawrence is competing with him. The Heisman is only supposed to take the 2020 season into account, but voters are human and will remember that Lawrence’s Tigers defeated Ohio State in the CFP last season. If it is close, Lawrence will probably get the nod for the 2020 Heisman.
3. D’Eriq King, QB, Miami Hurricanes (+2500)
King is new to Miami after transferring from Houston, but now may have the supporting cast to compete for the Heisman. His best year with the Cougars was in 2018. King passed for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also had 674 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. With the Hurricanes, he can put up similar numbers. If he can do that and help Miami compete in the ACC, King could be in the Heisman conversation.
He should be capable of putting up big numbers, but it will be a jump in competition from the AAC to the ACC. King will have to prove that he can play up to the competition level. That won’t be easy, as Miami’s offense has struggled in recent years. They will also likely need to win the ACC to get King enough recognition and opportunities to win the Heisman. That will take a huge upset over Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
4. Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma Sooners (+1200)
Oklahoma has a knack for having quarterbacks who win the Heisman. Last year, Joe Burrow won it, but the two years before that, the award went to an Oklahoma quarterback. Spencer Rattler is the next starting quarterback up after Jalen Hurts graduated and was drafted. Rattler has dual-threat abilities and was a highly-touted recruit. If Rattler plays well, the Sooners have enough talent around him to go to another CFP.
The situation may be great for Rattler, as he has a great team and a lot of chances for Heisman moments, but he is inexperienced. He threw 11 passes as a freshman in relief of Hurts. Rattler will have some talent around him, but Charleston Rambo will need to step into the number one receiver role after CeeDee Lamb went to the NFL. Rambo and Rattler will need to have a connection for the Sooners to have success and for Rattler to win the Heisman.
5. Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas Longhorns (+1400)
Ehlinger has been the quarterback at Texas for what feels like forever. He has led Texas to some highs, like their Sugar Bowl win following the 2018 season, but the Longhorns only won eight games last year. Ehlinger will have a team full of talented returning players and if they can win the Big 12, he can be in the running for the Heisman. In his three years at Texas, Ehlinger has improved each season statistically. Last year, he passed for 3,663 yards and 32 touchdowns. If he can improve again, Ehlinger will be in the Heisman talk.
Not only will Ehlinger have to beat Oklahoma, possibly twice, to win the award, but he’ll have to outplay the other quarterbacks mentioned. A Texas Big 12 Championship will help, but if Lawrence and Fields are in the CFP, it will take a lot of eye-popping stats for Ehlinger to win the award. While he is a longshot to win the award, there is a perceivable pathway for Ehlinger.
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