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Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Bryce Young begins his campaign for second Heisman, Stetson Bennett, Anthony Richardson throw hats into the ring

Alabama and Georgia’s offensive dominance in Week One set up their quarterbacks as Heisman contenders while Florida’s Anthony Richardson and USC’s Caleb Williams also look the part.

After an offseason of contentious takes and controversial expectations, the first week of college football came and passed, offering the sports world a chance to reset its beliefs about the notable teams and players. 

Just as the business cycles can roar upwards and crater downwards, the stock of expectations about how college football programs and players act in the same way. Here is a list of some quarterbacks and how their stock as contenders for the Heisman Trophy, the nation’s highest individual honor for college football players, has risen or declined after a fantastic Week One of college football. 

Bryce Young

Stock: Up

Bryce Young, the quarterback for the infamous Alabama Crimson Tide, played fantastic in the first week of action, throwing 18/28 for 195 yards and 5 (!) touchdowns while also rushing five times for one hundred yards and another touchdown. Young was so metaphorically on fire in the game that he felt the need to blast off a finger roll celebration before quickly calming his demeanor to address his head coach, Nick Saban. 

Young has all the physical talent in the world to dominate the SEC again and win another Heisman trophy with his remarkable deep ball and talented take-off speed. There is not much that can hold this QB back other than himself, so his stock is definitely up. 

Stetson Bennett

Stock: Up

All of last season, quarterback Stetson Bennett caught much ire for his physical limitations all of the regular season. However, he defied all expectations placed by silly college football prognosticators and took the Georgia Bulldogs to the playoffs and national championship to end the season at the top of the sport. In his first start of the season against Oregon, Bennett combined for 376 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage, leading Georgia to a 49-3 victory. 

Although there were many doubts about the ceiling of his talent last season, his performance against Oregon has firmly thrown his hat into the ring of Heisman contenders. 

CJ Stroud

Stock: Slightly down

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Quarterback CJ Stroud played pretty well in Ohio State’s win over Notre Dame. While Stroud had a pretty efficient night, the offense only put up 21 points and struggled mightily for most of the evening. Stroud has all the talent in the world as a passer. However, if Ohio State’s offensive issues in the opener persist, Stroud’s Heisman’s stock is starting to dip downwards. 

Anthony Richardson

Stock: Soaring

If you were to ask any college football fan to design their dream quarterback, Anthony Richardson’s fast rushing ability and big arm would likely end up pretty close to their likeness. Florida’s nail-biting last second win over Utah was due to a strong defensive play in Amari Burney’s interception.

The Gators would not have been in that game at all without the godlike playmaking of Richardson. If Florida can sustain this level of offensive prowess in SEC conference play, Richardson will be on the stage in New York at the close of the season. 

Caleb Williams

Stock: Up

Caleb Williams, the almost-Wisconsin Badger, played fantastically in his USC debut in the Colosseum. Problem was, no one was there to see it. 

Williams and Pitt transfer Jordan Addison were phenomenal in their first game as Trojans, tearing up Rice’s secondary to the tune of 19/22 with 249 yards and two touchdowns — plus another 70 yards rushing for Williams. Watch out for USC and  Williams to dominate a seemingly weak PAC-12, and loom as playoff contenders. 

Braelon Allen

Stock: Up

18 year-old Braelon started his sophomore season with the Badgers (and his third overall season playing running back) rushing a light 14 times for a hefty 148 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10.6 yards per attempt. Allen’s bruising style allows him to bounce off initial tackle attempts and speed past recovering defenders, as evidenced by his 96 yard scamper for a touchdown which was the longest in Badger football history.

Allen is a dark horse for a Heisman contender as players outside of the quarterback position are hardly even eligible for the award anymore. However, Allen looks like the best running back in the Big Ten and his performance in the opener could indicate a chance to secure a seat in New York. 

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