The 2019 college football season is in full swing, so what better time to look at the early contenders for the Heisman Trophy. From now, until the trophy is presented in New York City in early December, we’re officially on Heisman watch.
The Game Haus offers the first of its weekly rankings of the top five candidates for college football’s most prestigious award. Here’s a look at this week’s version of the Heisman watch with the current contenders as we see it.
All times eastern.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, No. 2 Alabama
This week: vs. Mississippi, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: The 2018 runner-up is off to a good start in 2019. Enough to lead the way in our first Heisman watch of the season. Tagovailoa is completing 77.7 percent of his passes for 1,300 yards with 17 touchdowns and no interceptions. Is Tua an easy choice to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft (assuming he’ll declare early)? Guess we’d need to talk to the Miami Dolphins about that. In the meantime, Tagovailoa, like the Crimson Tide, are rolling.
2. Jalen Hurts, QB, No. 6 Oklahoma
This week: vs. Texas Tech, Noon, Saturday
The Breakdown: Another year, another Sooners quarterback on Heisman watch. Many believe Hurts, Tua’s former teammate at Alabama, is the front-runner for the award at the moment, but it seems he needs to show it against some top-tier competition. Regardless, Hurts’ Oklahoma tenure is off to a rousing start: 80.3 completion percentage, 880 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns, zero interceptions, 373 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns.
3. Jonathan Taylor, RB, No. 8 Wisconsin
This week: vs. Northwestern, Noon, Saturday
The Breakdown: It’s safe to say, Taylor is the best running back in country. Now, the stats might say otherwise, but Taylor is still a stud. Closing in on the 5,000-yard mark for his career, Taylor is averaging 146.7 yards per game, a stellar 7.6 per carry and has scored seven touchdowns on the ground through three games. Taylor just ran through an overrated Michigan team for 203 yards and two of those touchdowns.
4. Justin Fields, QB, No. 5 Ohio State
This week: at Nebraska, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: There was plenty of hype surrounding Fields’ transfer to Ohio State. So far, he’s lived up to it. He’s thrown for 880 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. He can also do it with his legs, to the tune of 150 yards and another six touchdowns rushing. Fields and the Buckeyes face a nice test at Nebraska this weekend, so we’ll see how he does against some above-average competition.
5. Joe Burrow, QB, No. 4 LSU
This week: Idle
The Breakdown: Opening up the LSU offense has turned Burrow into a star and put him on Heisman watch. Completing 80.6 percent of his passes, Burrow just threw six of his 17 touchdown passes this season against Vanderbilt last weekend. If the Tigers are to find their way into the College Football Playoff, Burrow is going to be a big reason for that achievement.