NFL Draft Lounge’s Heisman Hopeful Watch List

David Fernandez
A freelance writer with more than 10 years experience, David is based in sunny Miami, FL. He holds a master's degree in English and Creative Writing, and teaches Journalism. As a freelance writer, David concentrates on sports, health, education and entertainment.

With the college football season winding down, it’s time to generate a Heisman Hopeful Watch List. The Heisman Trophy has been around since 1935. It’s one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in college football with finalists invited to New York for a nationally televised ceremony. 

According to their website, “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” This year there are a number of candidates. 

Heisman Hopeful Senior Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow, LSU

Joe Burrow is the odds on favorite to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy. His performance this season has vaulted the LSU Tigers into national championship contention. He’s thrown for 4,014 yards at an incredible 78.9 percent completion rate. He’s thrown 41 touchdowns and run for three more. As a result, it’s his award to lose. 

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma 

The Sooner senior has had an incredible season and should be one of the Heisman finalists in December. Jalen Hurts has completed over 71 percent of his passes en route to 3,184 yards and 30 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 1,156 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. The dual-threat quarterback could be Burrow’s biggest competition for the award and should be a finalist. 

Tyler Huntley, Utah 

Tyler Huntley leads a surprise Utah team this season as the fourth-highest rated quarterback in the FBS. He’s piled up 2,608 yards passing and 14 touchdowns thus far, completing 75 percent of his throws. He’s guided the Utes into contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff. However, it’s hard to imagine Huntley in New York for the Heisman this year. 

Heisman Hopeful Sophomore Quarterbacks

Trevor Lawerence, Clemson

A player who’s likely a top candidate for the 2020 Heisman is Trevor Lawrence. As a sophomore this season, he has Clemson primed for another national title run. He’s thrown for 2,575 yards and 27 touchdowns without an interception. He has six straight games with at least three touchdown passes. And Clemson has scored over 50 points in four straight with Lawrence at the helm. 

Justin Fields, Ohio State

Justin Fields is likely to be another of the top contenders for the Heisman a year from now. He’s thrown for 2,352 yards and 33 touchdowns at a nearly 70 percent completion rate. He’s thrown only one interception this season and has the Buckeyes poised to complete in the College Football Playoff.

Heisman Hopeful Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Perhaps the least known of the Heisman hopefuls on this list, Chuba Hubbard leads the FBS in rushing. His 1,832 yards and 20 touchdowns have thrust him into the Heisman conversation. He has nine straight games at over 100 yards. And he factors into the receiving game as well, as he caught seven passes for 88 yards last week. Hubbard may sneak onto the stage in New York this December. 

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

The junior tailback leads the Badgers this season and has been hugely productive. Jonathan Taylor has eclipsed 200 yards rushing in the last three games, including 222 yards last week versus Purdue. He averages 153.2 rushing yards per game this season, and has scored 18 touchdowns. Taylor may be a Heisman finalist because of his career production.

Travis Etienne, Clemson

Travis Etienne has been a steady contributor for Clemson this season. The junior running back has gained 1,335 yards this season and scored 14 touchdowns. He’s also tallied 25 receptions for 252 yards and two touchdowns. He has six straight 100-yard games with 10 total touchdowns in those tilts. He probably won’t make it to New York because he’s likely to split votes with his teammate Lawrence. 

Zack Moss, Utah

Another surprise Ute on this list is Zack Moss. The senior tailback has piled up 1,158 yards on the ground this season and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. He’s a factor in the passing game as well with 21 receptions and 320 yards and a touchdown there. Moss has scored in six straight games, with 11 total touchdowns in those contests. 

Heisman Hopeful Defense

Chase Young, Ohio State

While only one primarily defensive player has won the award in it’s history (Charles Woodson, 1997), Chase Young is making a case to be the second. Despite serving a two-game suspension this season, Young has racked up 16.5 sacks, a single-season record at OSU. The junior defensive end should merit consideration for the award, as well as for the No.1 overall selection in the coming NFL Draft. Young will likely be a finalist for the award, but it’s unlikely he’ll become the first exclusively defensive player to win the Heisman. 

Tua Tagovailoa is the only other player who merits consideration for the award this season. However, the Alabama quarterback’s season-ending injury has all but eliminated him from consideration.  

The Heisman ballots will be distributed to voters on December 2nd. Finalists for the award will be announced on December 9th. The announcement ceremony will take place on December 14th. 

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