Sconnie Sports Talk

Five Heisman Candidates to Watch


Through three weeks of the college football season, there has certainly been a lot of shaking up in the rankings and with individual players. As such, the Heisman watch has evolved slightly from the pre-season predictions. Here are five players who are currently making my list of Heisman potentials.

Nick Chubb (RB), Georgia Bulldogs

This season, Chubb has run for 468 yards on 56 attempts. He averages 8.4 yards per carry and has four touchdowns. While Greyson Lambert is a very strong quarterback, the reality is that the Bulldogs are centered around Chubb. Even though he shares attempts with Sony Michel, it does not matter. Chubb is a dynamic player who can be very explosive both through the gaps and around the outside, and is a force to be reckoned with in Athens. SEC play will undoubtedly be daunting for the Bulldogs; however, should Chubb continue to play at his current level, the team will be the clear champions of the SEC East. If he can continue to dominate games the way Mark Ingram did for Alabama, I see Chubb donning a suit in New York this December.

Leonard Fournette (RB), LSU

Well, speaking of running backs from the SEC: let’s take a look at Leonard Fournette of LSU. He has 47 attempts for 387 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Brandon Harris has only attempted to throw the football 31 times, which is a definite sign that this offense runs through Fournette. Additionally, unlike Georgia, LSU plays in the gauntlet of the SEC West, which is the most competitive division in college football. Fournette should easily find time in New York if he can continue his current play, as he is leading LSU through the rankings and making Baton Rouge excited. USA Today ranked him the lead candidate for the Heisman this week, and Les Miles even said he thinks Fournette deserves it. Let’s see what happens.

Trevone Boykin (QB), TCU

As evident by my rankings this past week, I think very highly of Boykin and the TCU Horned Frogs. He is 65/99 for 985 yards with 10 touchdowns. He is a commanding leader on the field, and has led the Horned Frogs to a resounding start in the Big 12. Being a Heisman winning quarterback might seem very easy, but is in fact very difficult because of the deep command that must be had both on the field and as a representation of the entire team. I think Boykin has this, but it will continue to take some time before I fully think he should grace the stage in New York. For now, however, I believe Boykin should definitely be in the conversation.

Ezekiel Elliot (RB), Ohio State

Elliot was a top Heisman candidate at the beginning of the season, gracing even the SST Heisman pre-season picks. So far, he has rushed for 331 yards and four touchdowns. While these numbers are good, there are two key issues that have occurred so far. For one, Elliot is not the sole commander of the Buckeyes, and does not command that individual attention when looking at the team as a whole that a Heisman candidate must consistently grace. Furthermore, the Buckeyes’ relatively light strength of schedule also permeates Elliot to not be as highly considered thus far. Don’t get me wrong; I think Elliot will definitely pick up during Big 10 play; but for now, he is no longer the clear Heisman front-runner.

Chad Kelly (QB), Mississippi

A week ago, who would have ever thought that Chad Kelly would enter the mix for the Heisman? But then, Kelly played so well against Alabama, throwing for 341 yards and three touchdowns, that I think his leadership and presence puts him into clear running for this Heisman award. For Kelly to continue to cement a place both on the list and in New York, he must prove that Saturday night was not a fluke. This will prove very difficult in the SEC West, but I believe that Kelly is strong enough that Ole Miss could have that chance. If his quarterbacking style leads Ole Miss to victory in Atlanta, put Kelly on that flight to New York, and maybe he will hoist some gold and make John Heisman proud.

While it is early in the season, these five players have already emerged as key components to their teams and to the Heisman race. The rest of the season will yield new obstacles and triumphs, and it will be up to these players to help determine if their fate will land them in New York or watching on a couch.


All images of players courtesy of Getty Images.


USA Today