Heisman Trophy Race Heats Up

Photo courtesy of USA Today: Quarterback Lamar Jackson hurdles over a defender.

College football season is in full swing. It’s that time of year when the media and fans start talking about The Heisman Trophy, college football’s all-around best player award. This year’s race for the trophy consists of many different types of players including quarterbacks, running backs and even a defensive back, which is rare occurrence, because the award is typically dominated by offensive candidate.

The number one candidate for the Heisman Trophy so far, is the sophomore quarterback out of Louisville, Lamar Jackson. Seven weeks into the season, Lamar Jackson had already accounted for a total of 34 touchdowns, thrown for over 2000 yards and rushed for 900 yards. Compared to other past Heisman winners through seven games, Marcus Mariota had only 24 touchdowns, Jameis Winston had 26, and Cam Newton had 25. Lamar Jackson in his own category right now. At the moment, he is playing at a level above the other FBS quarterbacks.

Jake Browning, the quarterback from the University of Washington, is ranked 2nd in Heisman voting. Contrary to Jackson, Browning is more of a pocket passer, he typically keeps behind the offensive linemen like most other quarterbacks. He has 26 touchdowns and 1700 passing yards after seven weeks. Washington is rarely in contention for a National Championship and you never really hear of any candidates from the school. Washington plays in the Pac 12, which means they play many late night games since they are on the West Coast. When the Pac 12 is mentioned, it is usually because of teams like Oregon, USC, and Stanford, the teams that typically dominate the conference.

Another Heisman candidate is Jabrill Peppers, a defensive back from Michigan. Peppers is ranked 5th in Heisman voting this season. He has played 12 different positions this year, a feat unheard of in prior seasons.   It is rare for a defensive player to get votes for the Heisman Trophy.

The last defensive Heisman winner were Charles Woodson of Michigan, back in 1997. Maybe that’s a good omen for Peppers. We also can’t forget about Jalen Hurts, the true freshman from Alabama. He is having a great season, leading the number one ranked team in the country.

With few weeks left to play in the season, it will be interesting to see how this race tightens up. Jackson, Browning, Peppers, and even Hurts are all strong candidates to win this year’s Heisman Trophy. The Heisman Trophy winner will be announced on December 10th, 2016, at 8pm on ESPN

By George Boyle


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