Most years there are clear frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, but they don’t always win the award. In 2019, Joe Burrow came out of nowhere to take home the trophy and DeVonta Smith did the same in 2020. It may just happen again in 2022. Here are the darkhorse contenders for the 2022 Heisman Trophy.
Note: Odds found here. All players have 25/1 (or +2,500) odds or higher.
Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami Hurricanes (25/1)
Van Dyke entered the lineup for the Hurricanes last season and gave the team some hope heading into the 2022 season. In 10 games played, Van Dyke passed for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions on 62.3 percent completion. He helped Miami finish at 7-5 on the year, which has now led to fans being excited for the new season to begin.
The Hurricanes will have a few marquee games in 2022. They play Texas A&M and Clemson, which are both opportunities for Van Dyke to showcase his talent on a national level. He will have to play big in those games and lead Miami to more wins than they had in 2021, which seems like an attainable goal. While he isn’t one of the top favorites, he will have a shot to move up Heisman rankings this season.
Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin Badgers (30/1)
The Badgers always seem to find a star running back and it is now Allen’s time to shine. He rushed for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns during the 2021 season. The sophomore is expected to see more of the workload in 2022 after splitting time early last season with Chez Melusi.
Wisconsin will have games where they need Allen to be at his best. Those games include Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa. If Allen can shine in those games and put up better stats than last season, he’ll have a shot at the Heisman. Wisconsin will also likely need to win around 10 or so games for Wisconsin to get enough credit for Allen to be invited to the Heisman ceremony.
Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama Crimson Tide (30/1)
Anderson arguably should’ve won the Heisman in 2021. The award eventually went to his teammate Bryce Young. In 2021, Anderson registered 101 total tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. He helped Alabama make the National Championship Game and it looks like they may be on a path back towards that point.
Alabama will always have big games and Anderson will have ample time to prove why he should win the Heisman. The Crimson Tide play Texas, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Auburn to end the year in marquee matchups. After being robbed last season, he may have some more motivation for the 2022 season. If the award truly went to the best player in college football, Anderson would have much more of a chance to take home the award, but it mostly goes to quarterbacks these days.
Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest Demon Deacons (30/1)
After a few mediocre seasons at Wake Forest, Hartman showed what he could do in 2021. He passed for 4,228 yards, 39 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 58.9 percent completion. His play helped the Demon Deacons win 11 games, which made it their best season in recent memory.
Following such a good 2021 season, there is a little bit of hype surrounding Wake Forest. The offense doesn’t look like it is going anywhere after ranking fourth in the country in points per game. In 2022, the Demon Deacons play Clemson and NC State in big games. Hartman will need to play well in those games to have a shot at getting nationally recognized.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide (30/1)
Gibbs started his career at Georgia Tech before looking for greener pastures at Alabama. He may be the best running back Alabama has had since Derrick Henry. For Georgia Tech, he had 1,206 rushing yards, 768 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in two seasons. Now, he is ready to explode at Alabama.
Gibbs, like Anderson, will have a chance to shine at Alabama. He will need to have good games when Alabama is playing quality opponents, but he’ll also need to have a great season to take over some of the votes from his quarterback, Young. Gibbs has a great opportunity, but it will be hard to outshine his opponents.
Devin Leary, QB, NC State Wolfpack (80/1)
Leary has continually improved during his NC State career and had a fantastic 2021 season. He passed for 3,433 yards, 35 touchdowns and five interceptions on 65.7 percent completion. His play aided NC State in going 9-3 for the 2021 season and big things are expected in 2022.
The Wolfpack play Clemson and Wake Forest in the 2022 season. Both games will give Leary a chance to get a “Heisman moment” under his belt. The Wake Forest and Texas Tech game will feature a lot of passing and will give Leary a chance to put up some great numbers. Leary is a longshot to win the Heisman, but the odds being at 80/1 after a good 2021 season seems off. He’ll need to put up better stats and maybe win the ACC to get the respect he deserves.
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