2022 Heisman Candidates: Early Top Ten Prediction, Watch List

2022 Heisman Candidates: Who are the top candidates to watch out for next year?

2022 Heisman Candidates: To start speculating early, who should belong on the watch list for the trophy?


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Yeah, Bryce Young was on every list of 2021 preseason Heisman candidates, but Kenny Pickett? The guy who didn’t get past 13 touchdown passes in any of his first four years?

DeVonta Smith – a wide receiver? – was going to win the 202 Heisman? NO ONE came close to predicting that, and no, you and nobody else had the first clue that Joe Burrow would have one of the greatest seasons in college football history in his 2019 run.

That’s why we always start any Heisman prediction piece by going with The Field, The Field, The Field.

For every Spencer Rattler of 2021 was a Will Anderson, Kenneth Walker, or Aidan Hutchinson just waiting to pop up and into the race.

Making the 2022 Heisman race even more insane to figure out is that we really don’t know what we don’t know, because …

1. Transfers, transfers, transfers. Not only will a few guys on this list be gone to other spots by the time you’re probably done reading this, but others are going to transfer into sweet gigs with big statistical potential.

2. Draft, draft, draft. Who’s this year’s Kenny Pickett type who’ll stay in school and bet on himself? A whole slew of key players – like Georgia’s JT Daniels – aren’t on this list because we’re just assuming they’re off to the NFL. We’ll do this piece again after all the early entries are set.

3. Coaches, coaches, coaches. Really, who’s going to be Lincoln Riley’s quarterback at USC? Really, what’s Brent Venables going to do at Oklahoma? Will Miami start winging it around? Where will all the star offensive coordinators end up?

The goal is getting the early 2022 Heisman call close to the pin – last year we did have Young at 3; but cheerfully ignore 1 and 2.

2022 Heisman Candidates Watch List: Names On A List As Fliers … Just In Case

Call this the Johnny Manziel/Cam Newton//Joe Burrow/DeVonta Smith base-covering list. These all might seem crazy, but Matt Corral was in this space last year.

It’s in alphabetical order after beginning with …

The Field
Again, if someone offers you The Field, take it. Oh, there’s a 2019 Joe Burrow out there, and we have eight months before next season to find him.

QB Jaxson Dart, Soph. USC
There’s a chance this could be Kedon Slovis’s offense to fly, but there’s a better shot that new head coach Lincoln Riley ends up with Caleb Williams – more on that in a moment – or some other superstar transfer in the Baker, Kyler, Jalen mold. Dart is on this list just in case he turns out to be The Guy.

QB Quinn Ewers, Fr. Undecided
Will he be Steve Sarkisian’s guy at Texas? Will he take over at Texas Tech? More on that with the Red Raiders in a moment. No matter where he ends up, the former superstar get for Ohio State has the talent to be instantly special wherever he goes.

QB Jake Haener, Sr. Fresno State
He was in the transfer portal – the thought was that he’d be off to Washington with former Fresno State head coach Kalen DeBoer – and then he came back in to be new/old head man Jeff Tedford’s quarterback. This is a straight stat play after throwing for over 3,800 yards and 32 touchdowns. He might put up eye-popping numbers that blow away the 2021 stats.

QB Sam Hartman, Jr. Wake Forest
What, you think this is slowing down? For all of the love and affection given to Kenny Pickett this year in the Heisman race, Hartman was stride-for-stride statistically for stretches before the interceptions kicked in. Throw in the 11 touchdown runs with the 36 touchdown passes and close to 4,000 yards, and the stats will be there.

Bryce Young wins 2021 Heisman Trophy: He checked all the boxes

QB Hendon Hooker, Sr. Tennessee
Possibly the most underappreciated quarterback in college football over the lsat few years, the former Virginia Tech transfer stepped in at Tennessee – after not getting the job to start the year – and finished with 26 touchdowns passes just three interceptions, and 561 yards and five touchdown runs. He could be a super-senior and take his game up a few notches in the Josh Heupel offense.

RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Sr. Minnesota
At the very least, he might be the feel-good story of 2022 if he comes back to form after tearing his Achilles tendon in the opener against Ohio State. He was crushing the Buckeyes with 163 yards and two scores before getting hurt. If he’s his old self, he’ll be a statistical monster.

QB KJ Jefferson, Jr. Arkansas
Totally overshadowed in a division with Bryce Young, Matt Corral, and Will Rogers, all the 6-3, 245-pound Jefferson did was throw for close to 2,600 yards with 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions, and run for 554 yards and five scores. Now he knows what he’s doing.

QB Devin Leary, Jr. NC State
Leary didn’t air it out quite as much as some of the other ACC stars, but he’ll finally get a little bit of the spotlight after throwing for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns with five picks.

QB Will Rogers, Mississippi State
Did Bryce Young lead the SEC in passing? No. Did he lead the SEC in completion percentage – at least among quarterbacks who threw at least 100 passes? No. Did Rogers lead the SEC in both categories, and will he likely blow up the stats in the Mike Leach offense after completing 75% of his throws for 4,451 yards and 35 touchdowns? Probably.

Top Ten 2022 Heisman Candidates

NEXT: 2022 Heisman Candidates: Top Ten

Bryce Young Wins 2021 Heisman Trophy: He Checked All The Boxes

Bryce Young won the 2021 Heisman Trophy. He checked all the boxes with a Heisman-caliber season in every way.

Bryce Young won the 2021 Heisman Trophy. The Alabama quarterback rose above the field by checking all the boxes.


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Bryce Young Wins The Heisman Trophy

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There wasn’t another option.

Others might have received first place votes, but there really isn’t an argument for anyone other than Bryce Young to be the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner.

There wasn’t a box left unchecked as he had a Heisman-caliber season in every way. In a college football season without any obvious options until the very end, he took over when he had to.


2021 Heisman Trophy Voting
1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama, 684 1st, 2311 points
2. DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan, 78 1st, 954 points
3. QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt, 28 1st, 631 points
4. QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State, 12 1st, 399 points
5. DE Will Anderson, Alabama 31 1st, 325 points


Was he the star player for the national championship-level team? Check.

Was he a quarterback or running back – after things went a wee bit off script last year with DeVonta Smith? Check.

Did he have a signature Heisman moment? Down 10-3 with just over 90 seconds to play, Young had 1st-and-97 against Auburn, took the team down the field, got through a few overtimes, saved the season. Check.

Did he show up large in the biggest and most important game of the season when everyone was paying attention? 26-of-44 for 421 yards and three touchdowns and, no picks, and a rushing touchdown against the biggest, baddest defense in the land. SEC Championship: Alabama 41, Georgia 24. Check.

Did he have the stats? WKU’s Bailey Zappe threw more touchdown passes (56), but Young had the most touchdown throws among all Power Five quarterbacks (43) with just four picks. And he did it against an SEC schedule. Check.

He threw multiple touchdown passes in every game and four or more in five games. Check.

Was he that bad in the down moment – he threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns with a pick in the loss to Texas A&M. Check.

Was he the MVP? Alabama is the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff partly because its quarterback got the job done in the big moments. Check.

Was he the MOP? He was outstanding in those moments, threw for 4,322 yards, and again, he was the standout player in the biggest moments that mattered to get to this point. Check.

But don’t take it all for granted.

Yeah, he’s the quarterback at Alabama. Yeah, it’s not like he was getting the job done without NFL talent around him.

Yeah, he’s the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy.

Now 2021 Heisman winner has two more boxes to check, starting with Cincinnati on New Year’s Eve.

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College Football Awards 2021: Who Won? Who Were The Best Players?

College Football Awards: Who won the big individual honors for the 2021 college football season?

Who won all of the top college football awards on the big night to honor the best and the brightest from the 2021 season? 


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2021 Home Depot College Football Awards

Bednarik Award

Who were the best defensive players in college football?

And The Winner Is …

DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

2021 Bednarik Award Finalists

DE Will Anderson, Alabama
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Anderson, 2) Davis, 3) Thibodeaux

Best Player Not On Ballot: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Biletnikoff Award

Who were the best receivers in college football? 

2021 Biletnikoff Award Winner

Jordan Addison, Pittsburgh

2021 Biletnikoff Award Finalists

Jordan Addison, Pitt
David Bell, Purdue
Jameson Williams, Alabama

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Bell, 2) Addison, 3) Williams

Best Player Not On Ballot: Jerreth Sterns, WKU

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Who were the best defensive players in college football?

2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winner

DE Will Anderson, Alabama

2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalists

DE Will Anderson, Alabama
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Anderson, 2) Davis, 3) Thibodeaux

Best Player Not On Ballot: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Butkus Award

Who were the best linebackers in college football?

2021 Butkus Award Winner

Nakobe Dean, Georgia

2021 Butkus Award Finalists

Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
Damone Clark, LSU
Nakobe Dean, Georgia
Devin Lloyd, Utah
Chad Muma, Wyoming

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Dean, 2) Clark, 3) Chenal

Best Player Not On Ballot: D’Marco Jackson, Appalachian State

Davey O’Brien Award

Who were the best quarterbacks in college football?

2021 Davey O’Brien Award Winner

Bryce Young, Alabama

2021 Davey O’Brien Award Finalists

Kenny Pickett, Pitt
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
Bryce Young, Alabama

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Young, 2) Stroud, 3) Pickett

Best Player Not On Ballot: Caleb Williams, Oklahoma

Doak Walker Award

Who were the best running backs in college football?

2021 Doak Walker Award Winner

Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

2021 Doak Walker Award Finalists

Tyler Badie, Missouri
Breece Hall, Iowa State
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Walker, 2) Hall, 3) Badie

Best Player Not On Ballot: Sean Tucker, Syracuse

Thorpe Award

Who were the best defensive backs in college football?

2021 Thorpe Award Winner

CB Coby Bryant, Cincinnati

2021 Thorpe Award Finalists

Coby Bryant, Cincinnati
Verone McKinley III, Oregon
Jalen Pitre, Baylor

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Pitre, 2) Bryant, 3) McKinley

Best Player Not On Ballot: CB Jaquan McMillian, East Carolina

John Mackey Award

Who were the best tight ends in college football?

2021 John Mackey Award Winner

Trey McBride, Colorado State

2021 John Mackey Award Finalists

Trey McBride, Colorado State
Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) McBride, 2) Kolar, 3) Wydermyer

Best Player Not On Ballot: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

Lou Groza Award

Who were the best kickers in college football?

2021 Lou Groza Award Winner

Jake Moody, Michigan

2021 Lou Groza Award Finalists

Gabe Brkic, Oklahoma
Jake Moody, Michigan
Noah Ruggles, Ohio State

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Moody, 2) Ruggles, 3) Brkic

Best Player Not On Ballot: Jonah Dallas, Boise State

Outland Trophy

Who were the best interior linemen in college football? 

2021 Outland Trophy Winner

DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

2021 Outland Trophy Finalists

DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Davis, 2) Ekwonu, 3) Linderbaum

Best Player Not On Ballot: DT Cameron Thomas, San Diego State

Ray Guy Award

Who were the best punters in college football?

2021 Ray Guy Award Winner

Matt Araiza, San Diego State

2021 Ray Guy Award Finalists

Matt Araiza, San Diego State
Adam Korsak, Rutgers
Jordan Stout, Penn State

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Araiza, 2) Korsak, 3) Stout

Best Player Not On Ballot: Ryan Stonehouse, Colorado State

Heisman Memorial Trophy

Who was the most outstanding player in college football?

2021 Heisman Winner

COMING

2021 Heisman Trophy Finalists

DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State
QB Bryce Young. Alabama

Fiu’s Ballot: COMING

Best Player Not Among The Finalists: DE Will Anderson, Alabama

Maxwell Award

Who were the best players in college football?

2021 Maxwell Award Winner

QB Bryce Young, Alabama

2021 Maxwell Award Finalists

QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Best Player Not On Ballot: QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State

Walter Camp Award

Who were the best players in college football?

2021 Walter Camp Winner

RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

2021 Walter Camp Finalists

DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Best Player Not On Ballot: QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State

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2021 Heisman Trophy: Who’ll Come In 2nd?

Heisman Finalists Announced: Who Will Come In Second? Predicted Finish

The finalists for the 2021 Heisman Trophy were announced? Who are the four in the hunt for the best individual trophy in all of sports?

The finalists for the 2021 Heisman Trophy were announced? Who are the four in the hunt for the best individual trophy in all of sports?


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2021 Heisman Finalists Announced

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Alabama QB Bryce Young is going to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy, and if he doesn’t it might be the biggest upset in the history of the award – at least, that seems to be the case if you go by the social media buzz.

The sophomore threw 43 touchdown passes with just four picks, ran for three touchdowns, led the team on the must-have 97-yard touchdown drive to force overtime in the win over Auburn, and then he smoked Georgia’s No. 1 defense for 421 yards and three touchdowns in the SEC Championship victory to earn the the Tide the top seed in the College Football Playoff.

So assuming he’s going to win, who’ll finish No. 2?

Young is obviously one of the four Heisman finalists, and here are the other three (in alphabetical order)

DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Why Aidan Hutchinson Will Finish 2nd For The Heisman: The heart-and-soul leader and tone-setter for the Michigan team that finally got over the hump in the Jim Harbaugh era, Hutchinson came up with 58 tackles, 14 sacks, and 15.5 tackles for loss.

He showed up large in some of the biggest games when everyone was watching, coming up with three sacks against Penn State, three more against Ohio State, and he even got one in the Big Ten Championship win over Iowa.

Why Aidan Hutchinson Won’t Finish 2nd For The Heisman: Alabama’s Will Anderson was the nation’s best pass rusher this season and was probably – along with a few Georgia stars in the mix – the best defensive player in college football.

Was Hutchinson 2019 Chase Young? Not really, but he was the signature star on a team that was very, very close to being the College Football Playoff No. 1 .

2021 Heisman Finalists
Bryce Young | Aidan Hutchinson
Kenny Pickett | CJ Stroud
2021 Heisman Trophy Prediction

NEXT Heisman Finalist: Kenny Pickett, Pitt

Heisman Watch Top Candidates After Week 13: Does ANYONE Want To Win This?

Who are the top candidates still in the mix for the 2021 Heisman Trophy race? Are there ANY candidates worthy of the honor?

Who’s in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy? The top candidates, what they need to do, and who still has a realistic shot.


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Heisman Watch: Top Candidates, Championship Week

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Week 13 Roundup
Rankings CFN 1-130 RankingsAP | Coaches
Bowl Eligible TeamsWeek 13 Scoreboard
Week 14 opening lines | CFP Top 25 Prediction
Bowl Projections, CFP Predictions
Riley to USC, Napier to Florida: GAME ON
College Football Playoff Chase: 6 Teams Alive

Seriously, is anyone Heisman-worthy this year?

It’s supposed to go to the best player in college football, but realistically, it goes to the top player who’s the best combination Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Player.

The Heisman winner needs the stats, and it needs that moment. It needs that game when the world realized it’s seeing the signature player of the college football regular season.

Yeah, there aren’t any players who fit all of that this year. At least not yet.

So let’s give it a try. Who are the five top favorites to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy?

Player(s) of Week 13

RB Hassan Haskins & DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Haskins ran for 169 yards and five touchdowns in the 42-27 win over Ohio State – granted, all five Wolverine offensive linemen deserve credit here, too. On the other side, Hutchinson led a dominant performance by the defensive front, coming up with seven tackles with three sacks.

5 Other Players On The Heisman Watch List

Now. before going forward, let’s cut through all of the hoo-ha. With one notable exception on the list, you’re not winning the 2021 Heisman Trophy if you’re not playing this weekend.

In a year with no one standing out, if you didn’t grab it by now, you’re not going to do it watching the biggest games of the season on TV.

Next week will be the list of finalists, and several of these guys will be on it. But actually winning it is another story.

In alphabetical order …

QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
QB Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
RB Kenneth Walker, Michigan State
QB Caleb Williams, Oklahoma
QB Bailey Zappe, WKU

6. DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Hassan Haskins might have been the signature star in the win over Ohio State, but Hutchinson was close behind. He has 13 sacks on the season with 54 tackles, 14,5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and three broken up passes.

Why Aidan Hutchinson Will Win the Heisman: America saw him dominate Washington – back when Washington was supposed to be a thing. America saw him dominate Penn State – back when beating Penn State was supposed to be a thing.

America saw him come up with three sacks and a monster performance as a catalyst for the win over Ohio State. If he destroys Iowa, he might just rise up and grab the cheese.

Why Aidan Hutchinson Won’t Win the Heisman: He’s a defensive end – it’s going to take something even more otherworldly than his Ohio State performance to do this. However, if Chase Young could be in the mix a few years ago, Hutchinson can potentially get close.

5. DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

There is no signature star on Georgia, but the main man in the middle is the one the No. 1 team in the country works around. Georgia is No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense – allowing fewer than seven points per game – and it leads the nation in total defense, Davis is the textbook definition of an anchor for the D.

Why Jordan Davis Will Win the Heisman: If Georgia pitches a shutout – or at least stuffs Alabama in the SEC Championship game – that ends the campaign of Bryce Young, and there aren’t a whole lot of other main options. Davis would be a representative as the top defensive player on the top team.

Why Jordan Davis Won’t Win the Heisman: The splashy stats aren’t there. Ndamukon Suh – full disclosure; Suh got my vote – destroyed Texas in the 2009 Big 12 Championship to cap off an amazing year, but he also did it with  12 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, and he led the team with 85 tackles. That’s not Davis’s game – there won’t be any tangible numbers to crank up the support.

NEXT: 2021 Heisman Candidates: Top 4

Heisman Watch Top Candidates After Week 11: Will ANYONE Rise Up?

Who are the top candidates still in the mix for the 2021 Heisman Trophy race? Will anyone step up and take over in the race?

Who’s in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy? The top candidates, what they need to do, and who still has a realistic shot.


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Heisman Watch: Top Candidates After Week 11

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Week 11 Roundup
Rankings AP | Coaches | CFN 1-130 Rankings
Week 12 Early Line Predictions | Heisman Race
College Football Playoff Chase, Who’s Alive?
Bowl Projections | Week 11 Scoreboard, Predictions
Big Game Reactions: Baylor, Mich, Ole Miss, more
Coach Hot Seat Top 10 | Bowl Bubble: Who’s In, Out

Now that the season appears to be the Georgia Invitational, the nation desperately needs the Heisman Trophy campaigns to get rolling – and it’s really, really not.

No one has captivated a nation. No player has been able to rise up and grab the best individual award and all of sports and make it his.

But the chances are coming.

It’s Heisman time.

It’s the middle of November and the race is wide open, so it’s going to come down to who shows up with the biggest performances in the biggest games with everyone watching.

It’s the ultimate sports beauty contest, and here are the main stars still in the mix, where they stand, and what they need to do to win the thing.

Player of Week 11
(outside of the main guys on this list)

QB Jalon Daniels, Kansas
Will the young quarterback burn more playing time to take away his chance at redshirting? That was the one question everyone wanted to ask, when the real focus was this …

Kansas just hung 57 on Texas and won a Big 12 game on the road.

Unlike past years when Kansas would come up with a shocking win, this one seemed to signify the start of something under first year head coach Lance Leipold. Daniels had a whole lot to do with that, completing 21-of-30 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns – with a game-winning two-point conversion throw – and running 11 times for 45 yards and a score.

5 Other Players On The Heisman Watch List

At the very least, these five will receive a whole lot of votes and are still in the mix to be a finalist. In alphabetical order …

QB Matt Corral, Notre Dame
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
QB Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
RB TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

5. QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt

The numbers continue to be fantastic. He might not be cranking out Joe Burrow stats from 2019 or Kyle Trask numbers of last year, but he’s not terribly far off with 32 touchdown passes, just four picks, and with 300 yards or more in seven of his last eight games.

Why Kenny Pickett Will Win the Heisman: He’s got a nice mix of stats and buzz. The foundation has been set, and the numbers will only get more impressive over the next few weeks. He should get his shot to show off in the ACC Championship, but …

Why Kenny Pickett Won’t Win the Heisman: There just aren’t enough big games left. Virginia and at Syracuse won’t receive a whole lot of national attention, and once again, the ACC Championship will likely get swallowed up by the other conference championships.

4. QB Caleb Williams, Oklahoma

He had a rough day at the office in the 27-14 loss to Baylor, but no one has more Heisman-like moments this season. From the fourth down run against Texas to turn the year around, to the heady plays to save the say against Kansas, to the phenomenal performance against Texas Tech with six passing scores, he packed a whole lot into a half a season.

Why Caleb Williams Will Win the Heisman: No one will catch Coastal Carolina’s out-for-the-year injured star Grayson McCall in quarterback rating, but Williams is still No. 2 in the country. It’s not just about the numbers – he has Iowa State and Oklahoma State up next. If he rocks in those two games and takes OU to the Big 12 Championship, he’ll be back in the mix, but …

Why Caleb Williams Won’t Win the Heisman: 10-of-19, 146 yards, no touchdowns, two picks, one rushing score. That was his day in the loss to Baylor. It wasn’t all his fault, but he couldn’t move the offense and was eventually lifted for Spencer Rattler.

Heisman Watch 2021: Top 3 Candidates After Week 11

College Football Awards 2020: Who Won? Who Were The Best Players?

Who won all of the top college football awards on the big night to honor the best and the brightest from the 2020 season? 

Who won all of the top college football awards on the big night to honor the best and the brightest from the 2020 season? 


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

2020 Home Depot College Football Awards

Bednarik Award

Who were the best defensive players in college football?

And The Winner Is …

LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

2020 Bednarik Award Finalists

LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

Fiu’s Ballot: 1) Collins, 2) Owusu-Koramoah, 3) Surtain

Best Player Not On Ballot: DE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina

CFN’s Five Best Defensive Players of 2020

1. LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
2. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
3. DE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
4. LB Joseph Ossai, Texas
5. CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama

Bednarik | Biletnikoff | Bronko NagurskiButkus
Davey O’Brien | Doak WalkerThorpe
John Mackey | Lou GrozaOutland | Ray Guy
Heisman  | Maxwell | Walter Camp

NEXT: Biletnikoff Award, Nation’s Top Wide Receiver

Heisman Trophy: Why I Voted For Kyle Trask (And The Impossible Attempt To Justify It)

DeVonta Smith won the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Here’s why Pete Fiutak voted for Kyle Trask, along with explaining the rest of his ballot.

DeVonta Smith won the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Here’s why Pete Fiutak voted for Kyle Trask, along with explaining the rest of his ballot.


Why My Heisman Vote Went To Kyle Trask …

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Look, I’m the We Need To Vote AFTER The Bowls guy, so remember, we submitted our ballots before the bowl season happened.

All my Heisman votes since I’ve been doing this are at the bottom. This one was the hardest yet.

PLEASE, remember … the Heisman isn’t predictive. Again, it’s done BEFORE the bowls. BEFORE …

My ballot? 1) Kyle Trask, 2) Najee Harris, 3) Mac Jones.

Yeah, I voted for Kyle Trask. In 11 games – the time frame we had to go on to vote – he threw 43 touchdown passes and 4,125 yards with just five picks against all SEC teams. No, he wasn’t Joe Burrow, but Burrow after 11 games? 41 touchdown passes and 4,014 yards and six interceptions.

Yeah, I voted for the guy who was on a 2019 Joe Burrow pace, the best running back in college football who scored 27 touchdowns, and a guy who had the most efficient passing season in the history of college football. It wasn’t THAT wacky.

Trask was coming off the amazing performance against Alabama in the SEC Championship, and while he threw a bad pick against LSU, he more than made up for it with 474 yards – it wasn’t his fault the D was awful.

There’s no arguing against DeVonta Smith. He’s a wonderful player who had an all-timer of a year, stepping up his play as the season went on and especially after Jaylen Waddle went down. If we could vote after the bowls – you know, the biggest games of the season – I’d have changed my ballot. Seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns in one of the two most important games of the season … yeah, of course.

If we could vote right now before the national championship I would still be a bit torn with Smith, Harris or Mac Jones at 1/2/3 in some way, and because that one performance mattered SO much, Justin Fields would be on the radar depending on the national championship.

It’s my ongoing argument – bowl games matter here. Trask was great, but even though it wasn’t his fault with all the missing pieces, that Oklahoma game mattered.

Trevor Lawrence missed the first Notre Dame game. It’s totally not fair and totally not his fault, but we’re splitting hairs here with five guys – at least for me, it was Lawrence, Smith, Jones, Harris and Trask – for three spots and two guys had to be left off the list.

Trevor Lawrence is the most talented player in college football and an all-time NFL franchise quarterback prospect, but again two guys had to be left off. Missing the biggest pre-championship game of the regular season mattered here, and the numbers just weren’t as strong as the other quarterbacks.

Okay, Devonta … I wrote his name in, then out, then in, then out, then left him out. At the end of the day, yeah, quarterbacks are more important than wide receivers. Sorry, but they just are – you see Davante Adams getting MVP votes over Aaron Rodgers? Again, after the bowls he’d get the vote, but at the time ….

Okay … Kyle Trask. First, the guy was on a pace to beat Joe Burrow’s touchdown and yardage mark up until the bowl debacle. Considering Burrow came up with the be-all-end-all Heisman season, that never got as much respect as it deserved.

Remember how amazing he was in the SEC Championship. It got totally memory dumped by everyone, but this supposedly unbeatable Alabama team got pushed to the brink in that 52-46 game when Trask threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns with a rushing score.

And, again, we vote BEFORE the bowls, and for me, I always wait until right after the conference championship games are over.

Mac Jones was too good, too efficient, and too under-appreciated. No I don’t think he’s a better talent than Trevor Lawrence, but he had a better season. Again, to split hairs, I had to put in the guy who had the most efficient passing season in college football history in my top three.

Najee Harris was the best running back in football. There are plenty of amazing receivers. Not diminishing DeVonta in ANY way, but the massive receiving seasons are becoming a bit of the norm. Elijah Smith of Ole Miss actually averaged more yards and catches per game than DeVonta.

All year long I thought Harris was as much of the glue to what that the Bama offense did than anyone else. Obviously Smith-to-DeVonta was devastating, but Harris was massive game in and game out. The guy was the ultimate closer with 24 rushing scores, five touchdowns in the SEC Championship, and enough catches to matter.

Harris was my 1. I had even more of an argument to make for his cause, but after that SEC Championship, I thought that if I’m having a hard time deciding between three guys on one team, that probably means something. Not like Trask didn’t have a ton talent to work with, but again, he almost pulled out an SEC Championship with an amazing performance in a giant game. Add that to the raw numbers, and …

Rip on my vote all you want. Kyle Trask was pretty good. So were Najee Harris, Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence and DeVonta Smith.

My all-time Heisman votes …

2020 QB Kyle Trask, Florida (DeVonta Smith won)
2019 QB Joe Burrow, LSU
2018 QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
2017 QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
2016 QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson (Lamar Jackson won)
2015 RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
2014 QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
2013 QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
2012 LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame (Johnny Manziel won)
2011 QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2010 QB Cam Newton, Auburn
2009 DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska (Mark Ingram won)
2008 QB Tim Tebow, Florida (Sam Bradford won)
2007 QB Tim Tebow, Florida
2006 QB Troy Smith, Ohio State
2005 RB Reggie Bush, USC

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DeVonta Smith Wins 2020 Heisman Trophy: A Historic Winner In A Great Field

DeVonta Smith won the 2020 Heisman Trophy. In a crazy year, and with a great field of candidates, the Alabama WR had a historic season.

DeVonta Smith won the 2020 Heisman Trophy. In a crazy year, and with a great field of candidates, the Alabama wide receiver put together a historic year.


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DeVonta Smith Won The Heisman Trophy …

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

Leave it to the smoothest player in the game to take home the Heisman Trophy in the roughest college football season of all-time.

DeVonta Smith won the 2019 Heisman Trophy as the first wide receiver since Michigan’s Desmond Howard got it in 1991.

Mac Jones put together the most efficient season in the history of college football. He threw for close to 4,000 yards before the College Football Playoff bowl win over Notre Dame with 32 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Florida’s Kyle Trask was on the same touchdown and yardage pace as 2019 winner Joe Burrow, and remember, the voting was done before the bowl game. He threw for 42 touchdowns and five picks before the bowl, and he pushed Alabama to the brink in a classic SEC Championship.

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Trevor Lawrence missed a few key games for Clemson, but he came back roaring as he led the Tigers to the ACC Championship and another appearance in the College Football Playoff. One of the best college quarterbacks of all-time, he’s a special talent closing out an amazing career.

And DeVonta Smith had to get past all of them.

When Howard won in 1991, he beat out Florida State QB Casey Weldon and BYU QB Ty Detmer. Both had great seasons, but neither one was going to make a big push. This year, Smith was able to beat three guys who could’ve taken home the Heisman without anyone blinking.

All Smith did was catch 98 passes before the bowl game for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns with a punt return for a score. He hit the 100-yard mark seven times, he was a dominant force in game after game, and when Jaylen Waddle went down for the year with an ankle injury, Smith stepped up.

He was the focus of every game plan by every secondary, and it didn’t matter as he scored multiple touchdowns in five of his last six regular season games – he wasn’t needed when he caught just three passes in the 52-3 win over Arkansas.

A quarterback won nine of the previous ten Heismans with Derrick Henry breaking it up in 2015, and now a wide receiver has broken through.

A national championship-winning touchdown catch over Georgia in overtime, a Heisman, and now another shot at a national championship.

Everything about DeVonta Smith’s college career has been historic.

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2021 Heisman Trophy Candidates: Early Top Ten Prediction, Watch List

To start speculating early, who should be the top candidates for the 2021 Heisman Trophy? 

To start speculating early, who should be the top candidates for the 2021 Heisman Trophy? 


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Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

This piece was solid four years ago when the Baker Mayfield Would Win call connected, and three years ago it was full of right ideas, wrong applications, and a whole slew of whiffs.

Let’s just say the 2019 Early Top Ten Heisman Trophy Prediction piece had … issues. No one – NO ONE – saw Joe Burrow coming.

And no, no one had DeVonta Smith in mix for the 2020 Heisman. However, we at least had Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Trask, and random Alabama quarterback in last year’s preseason mix.

Predicting the 2021 Heisman race? Assume this is all typed in pencil.

More than ever, we don’t know what we don’t know.

1. Transfers, transfers, transfers. With this year’s free pass to transfer, don’t get comfortable in any way with your current starting quarterback or top running back. It’s going to be a crazy next several months.

2. Draft, draft, draft. There are still several key guys who might opt-out, get out, or just decided they want to preserve themselves for the NFL. It’s going to be a crazy next several months.

3. Seniors, seniors, seniors. It’s possible this year for some seniors to decide they don’t want to face the real world quite yet – and why would they? In the COVID season, everyone gets an extra year of eligibility if it’s wanted. It’s going to be a crazy next several months.

And finally …

4. The real world. We’re all assuming things will be better and 2021 will see a more normal type of football season. You want to bet the house on that? We can hope for something better, but …

It’s going to be a crazy next several months.

The goal is getting the early 2021 Heisman call close to the pin, so we start with this.

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch List: Names On A List As Fliers … Just In Case

Every name in this group seems like a crazy call that has no business working in the discussion of the 2021 Heisman Trophy. Call it the Joe Burrow and DeVonta Smith curveball list.

It’s in alphabetical order after beginning with …

The Field
It’s the wimp way out, but do you really want to pick the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner a year in advance? Take The Field – not Justin Fields – over everyone else, and you’re likely to be right. But that’s no fun, so we press on.

QB Matt Corral, Jr. Ole Miss
And here we go with the parade of SEC quarterbacks. The main difference between Corral and several others is 1) experience, 2) a team with a likely bad defense to 3) once again force him to put up massive numbers. He ran for over 500 yards and four scores, and hit 71% of his throws for 3,337 yards and 29 touchdowns.

QB Max Johnson, Soph. LSU
Or, just make this spot for Insert Starting LSU QB Here. Lost in all of the problems with the Tigers in 2020 was a passing game that really did work. It wasn’t 2019, but there was hope. Now the program has to settle in on a quarterback from way too many options – and maybe a top transfer. Johnson was the star of the Florida win and closed out with a 435-yard day against Ole Miss.

QB Emory Jones, Jr. Florida
Is he really going to take over the job with Kyle Trask done? He adds more of a rushing element to the mix, provided a bit of a spark in the Oklahoma debacle, and he’s got the skills to put up huge numbers if he’s the guy.

WR John Metchie, Jr. Alabama
No, but last year at this time if someone told you that DeVonta Smith was going to be in the Heisman equation …

Metchie averaged more yards per catch than Smith (17.8 to 15.6).

QB Bo Nix, Jr. Auburn
NO NO … DON’T LEAVE! This is a covering-the-bases listing with Nix going into his third year as a starter working under a new coaching staff. He won’t have the same NFL-caliber targets he had in 2020 when he threw 12 touchdown passes, and … sorry. Okay, carrying on.

QB Brock Purdy, Sr. Iowa State
It only seems like he’s been around for 15 years, but yeah, he’s a senior. Assuming he doesn’t turn pro early, he’s a terrific veteran who should be able to put up even better numbers as the expectations are reasonably higher now.

RB Bijan Robinson, Soph. Texas
The superstar recruit of last year led the team with over 700 yards and four scores – to go along with two receiving touchdowns – averaging over eight yards per carry. He closed out the season with 172 yards and three scores against Kansas State, and 183 yards and a score in the bowl win over Colorado – averaging close to 19 yards per carry in those two games. Now he’s Steve Sarkisian’s running back to work with.

RB Isaiah Spiller, Jr. Texas A&M
The raw numbers probably won’t be there, but he might get a long look in the race in a Great Player, Top Team sort of way. He only ran for 1,036 yards and nine scores, and there are more explosive players in the backfield, but he’s going to be the main man for the Aggie O.

NEXT: Top Ten 2021 Early Heisman Candidates