Heisman Hunters: Top 10 Trophy Candidates

The Associated Press

It’s a pretty stellar class of Heisman contenders, but it was not a stellar week of performances. No one combined a big game with a strong team performance, and that allowed Lamar Jackson to keep the #1 spot.

One likely contender, QB Deondre Francois (Florida State) fell out of contention due to injury. QB Jalen Hurts had the biggest drop while RB Saquon Barkley made the biggest jump within the top 10. RB Royce Freeman and QB Kelly Bryant are the new entrants in the group.

Big games for Mayfield, Barrett, Darnold, and Bryant from the top 10 this week, and RB J.K. Dobbins, who had a big debut for the Buckeyes, will also have a chance to shine again. RB Nick Chubb (Georgia), RB Kamryn Pettway (Auburn), QB Jarrett Stidham (Auburn), and QB Brandon Wimbush (Notre Dame) are all outside of this list yet will get a stage this week to make the case they belong.

Others considered: QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), QB Trace McSorley (Penn State), QB Drew Lock (Mizzou), WR Dante Pettis (Washington), QB Luke Falk (Washington State), QB Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State), QB Shea Patterson (Ole Miss), RB J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State), QB Josh Rosen (UCLA), QB Jesse Ertz (Kansas State)

10. RB Derrius Guice [Last Week: #8] (LSU)—It wouldn’t classify as a spectacular performance. Guice, if he’s going to make a run, will use SEC play to do it.

9. QB Kelly Bryant [Last Week: NR] (Clemson)—I may be jumping the gun a bit here, but the Clemson QB looked like an able heir to Deshaun Watson. If he keeps that form, then the Tigers could post a strong title defense.

8. RB Royce Freeman [Last Week: NR] (Oregon)—He combined 200 yards rushing and receiving and paired that with 4 touchdowns. Granted, no one was watching the Ducks route Southern Utah, but it’s a strong statement.

7. QB Jalen Hurts [Last Week: #2] (Alabama)—Statistically, this was not a great game, but he did not harm his team. I’ll keep Hurts on the list for now, but he’s going to have to do more to have any sort of claim to be in the conversation.

6. RB Saquon Barkley [Last Week: #9] (Penn State)—A stellar performance from Barkley could position him to make a run ahead of these quarterbacks.

5. QB Jake Browning [Last Week: #6] (Washington)—Not flashy, and the stats won’t blow you away. However, he had a better week than his fellow PAC 12 QB.

4. QB Sam Darnold [Last Week #3] (USC)—It took a while, but he found a groove against a Western Michigan team that was supposed to take a step back. Two interceptions and 0 touchdowns is concerning.

3. QB JT Barrett [Last Week: #5] (Ohio State)—There were some early struggles, and the 57% completion percentage isn’t great. Still, it was a strong overall performance.

2. QB Baker Mayfield [Last Week #4] (Oklahoma)— The Sooners’ QB completed an astounding 95% of his passes on Saturday. Could this be the year he goes from participant to victor in NYC?

1. QB Lamar Jackson [Last Week: #1] (Louisville)—Nearly 500 yards of total offense shows Jackson hasn’t lost his capability for big performances. His team, however, almost lost to lowly Purdue.

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