Heisman Watch: Jonathan Taylor falls out of the race, Chase Young enters
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Ohio State’s redshirt freshman phenom has been one of the reasons why this Buckeyes team has looked much improved from last year. He’s led Ohio State to 48.2 points per game, good for the 3rd best scoring offense in the country this year. Fields is also responsible for the third-most points in college football this year with 24 passing touchdowns and nine rushing scores. Fields also boasts top 15 rankings for completion percentage (12th), passing efficiency (4th) and points responsible for per game (4th) with 24.8.
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Burrow was not in the top-20 Heisman candidates in the preseason, but the senior has proven himself to be one of the premier talents in college football. Burrow boasts a 15:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, a nation-best 78.8 percent completion rate, and a top-five rated 10.3 yards/pass attempt. Burrow’s Tigers have the second-ranked passing offense in the nation, behind only the air raid offense of Mike Leach’s Washington State. Perhaps most impressively, he’s brought an already good LSU team to the pinnacle of college football so far; the Tigers currently hold the #1 position in the AP Top 25.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Hurts held high expectations after transferring from Alabama, and the senior has not disappointed. The Sooners boast the past two Heisman winners in quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, and Hurts has put himself in a position to follow in their footsteps. Hurts has completed over 73 percent of his passes this year for over 300 yards per game through the air. His contributions on the ground are equally, if not more impressive; Hurts has 13 rushing touchdowns so far and averages over 100 yards/game. He leads the Sooners in rushing from the quarterback position, and it isn’t particularly close; the next leading rusher has 400 yards less than Hurts.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
It seems like every year that at least one player from Alabama is listed here, and 2019 has been no different. Tagovailoa passes for 309 yards per game at a 74 percent clip. The star junior, aided by NFL-caliber receivers DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy, has thrown 27 touchdowns this year and only two interceptions. While Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide offense do not have the passing statistics of players like Hurts and Fields, team numbers show his proficiency as a game manager. Alabama ranks 2nd in the country in third down conversion percent and is fourth-best in total turnovers lost.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Unfortunately for Badger fans, Hubbard has stolen the spotlight as the Heisman committee’s favorite running back thanks to a couple of subpar weeks by Jonathan Taylor and an explosive game against TCU for Hubbard, in which he rushed for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns. The redshirt sophomore back and Alberta, Canada native has averaged 178 yards per contest, which is 60 yards more than Taylor and the best in the NCAA. His clip of 6.8 yards per carry ranks seventh in college football this year, and his 1,686 scrimmage yards lead the NCAA.
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
It has been 22 years since Charles Woodson became the only defensive player to win the Heisman trophy for Michigan. Now, experts are giving a real chance for the Buckeyes’ star defensive end to take home the award this year. The six-foot-five, 235-pound junior has already recorded 13.5 sacks, four of which came against Wisconsin in Ohio State’s biggest game so far. Young has also recorded five forced fumbles and has helped make the Buckeyes the number nine rushing defense in the country. With primetime games against Big Ten rivals #5 Penn State and #14 Michigan, Young will have the chance to prove himself worthy of being the second defensive player ever to take home the HeismanSubscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter