The most probably Heisman candidate for every AP Prime 25 workforce


The AP Top 25 college football poll is out. And there is no shock that Alabama, defending nationwide champ and residential of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, begins on prime.

However who may observe DeVonta Smith in lifting the game’s most iconic trophy? Let’s check out the most probably Heisman candidate for every workforce within the AP’s preseason rankings.

In fact, a few of these names are actually lengthy photographs. However, then once more, nobody was anticipating Johnny Manziel, Lamar Jackson and even Smith to be severe contenders this time of yr after they ended up taking dwelling the Heisman.

Usually first-year starters wrestle to generate the form of title recognition to start the season as Heisman contenders, however that is not the case with Tide quarterback Bryce Young. He is grow to be one of many faces of gamers profiting off their title, picture and likeness, and with good motive. The previous five-star recruit is a dynamic playmaker who’s comfy taking part in inside and outdoors the pocket. Whereas it will have been good to return a DeVonta Smith or a Jaylen Waddle, Younger could have loads to work with, whether or not it is wideout John Metchie or tight finish Jahleel Billingsley. — Alex Scarborough

Oklahoma quarterbacks are at all times a Heisman risk, and Spencer Rattler comes into his second yr as a starter because the Heisman favourite in response to Vegas odds. Final season, he overcame some early-season turnovers to cross for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns and led the nation in landing passes of 25 yards or extra. The Sooners gave him much more deep threats this season with the additions of Arkansas switch Mike Woods, who averaged 19.3 yards per catch final yr, and freshman Mario Williams. — Dave Wilson

It is a skinny résumé for the brand new Clemson QB, D.J. Uiagalelei, who has simply two begins in his profession. However these two begins included a dramatic second-half comeback win over BC and a stellar efficiency in a loss at Notre Dame during which Uiagalelei threw for extra yards than any opponent in historical past towards the Combating Irish. Now the offense belongs to Uiagalelei, and he is surrounded by a deep receiving corps that ought to provide him loads of alternatives to publish some enormous numbers. Regardless of spectacular stat traces, Tajh Boyd, Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence all did not land the Heisman {hardware}. Maybe Uiagalelei may be the Clemson QB who lastly breaks by way of. — David M. Hale

Receiver Garrett Wilson is nipping at Chris Olave‘s heels and possibly may have been the selection, however the nod goes to Olave, who will likely be in his closing season with the Buckeyes. Olave led the workforce in receiving yards final season with 729 yards and in addition led the workforce in receiving touchdowns with seven. The offense goes to interrupt in a brand new quarterback, however Olave is as dependable as receivers come and needs to be one of many extra productive gamers within the convention. — Tom VanHaaren

JT Daniels goes to be in an incredible place to win the Heisman if he is in a position to preserve Georgia’s offense rolling the best way it did on the finish of 2020 and it lives as much as expectations and wins out. In 4 video games final season, Daniels accomplished 67.2% of his passes for 1,231 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. If he is ready to preserve that form of tempo over a full season, he is contending for the Heisman with none doubt. — Harry Lyles Jr.

Throughout final yr’s 9-1 season, the Aggies leaned on a stellar offensive line, main the SEC in yards per carry and time of possession. Even when opponents may get their palms on him, Isaiah Spiller was arduous to carry down, operating for 651 yards after contact on the season, seventh finest nationally. He broke out with 27 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns in a win over No. 4 Florida, considered one of his six 100-yard video games. The Aggies are changing 4 starters on this yr’s O-line, however they like their choices, and Spiller will likely be a key determine within the Aggies’ hopes of creating a Faculty Soccer Playoff run. — Wilson

Breece Hall completed within the prime 10 in Heisman voting final season and positively may make a bounce in 2021 with Iowa State returning most of its most profitable workforce ever from 2020. Corridor ran for 1,572 yards on 279 makes an attempt and 21 touchdowns. The one different operating again to complete within the prime 10 in Heisman voting was Najee Harris, so from a operating again standpoint, you need to like his odds regardless of the Heisman nonetheless largely being a quarterback’s award within the trendy recreation. — Lyles

Because the 2020 season progressed, Desmond Ridder stored getting higher as Cincinnati superior to the Peach Bowl undefeated, earlier than dropping to a Georgia workforce that had discovered its rhythm with J.T. Daniels. Ridder accomplished 66.2% of his passes for two,296 yards, 19 touchdowns and 6 picks. The Bearcats have two large early nonconference street video games at Indiana and Notre Dame, which may assist Ridder make his case if he is in a position to lead Cincinnati to wins with monster performances. — Lyles

Charles Woodson was the one defensive participant to win the Heisman, so it does not appear real looking to checklist Kyle Hamilton. Kyren Williams had the ninth most speeding yards of any FBS operating again final season with 1,125, and he additionally had 13 touchdowns. Notre Dame has a brand new quarterback in Jack Coan, who transferred from Wisconsin, so the Irish are going to wish to depend on Williams to assist Coan settle in. That might imply extra alternatives and one other season with large numbers. — VanHaaren

You needn’t go off the board to discover a severe Heisman candidate at North Carolina, the place junior Sam Howell has established himself as arguably one of the best QB within the nation over the previous two seasons. He helms an explosive offense — UNC averaged practically 42 factors per recreation final season — and as a sophomore, he confirmed he is usually a risk along with his legs (5 speeding TDs) to go along with one of many greatest arms in faculty soccer. Howell wants 40 passing touchdowns to set the ACC profession mark, and that is perhaps sufficient to get him his share of Heisman votes, too. — Hale

11. Oregon Ducks: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux

Kayvon Thibodeaux is just not going to win the Heisman. It might take such a major break from custom to permit for that, at the same time as a game-changing pass-rusher. He’s, nonetheless, the kind of participant — former No. 1 total recruit and potential No. 1 total NFL draft decide — who may wind up in New York as a finalist. If the Geese make a run on the playoff, Thibodeaux will possible be the face of that push. — Kyle Bonagura

Quarterback Graham Mertz began final season scorching, however he was up-and-down all through the remainder of the season. Jalen Berger was a real freshman, however he ran for 316 yards and two touchdowns on 60 carries. He was splitting duties with Garrett Groshek, who had 67 carries, and Nakia Watson, who had 53 makes an attempt. Groshek and Watson are each gone, and Berger has an opportunity to enhance his numbers from final yr and take over because the lead again. — VanHaaren

The Gators had two Heisman candidates final yr in Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts, however each of them are gone. With such a younger offense returning for this season, essentially the most logical candidate could be quarterback Emory Jones, who has waited three years for this chance. He’s a distinct quarterback than Trask as a result of he’s a real twin risk. However Jones, who has seen situational work totally on quarterback runs, can do greater than that. Coach Dan Mullen has repeatedly praised his arm energy. Mullen additionally recruited and signed Jones particularly for the offense he desires to run. Anticipate the Florida offense to look totally different and the potential for Jones to take off. — Andrea Adelson

Quarterback D’Eriq King is the simple selection right here. When King determined to return for yet another season, it will have been simple to place him on any preseason Heisman checklist. However per week later, he harm his proper knee within the bowl recreation towards Oklahoma State. King has spent the final seven months aggressively rehabbing the harm and is poised to make his return within the opener towards Alabama. By each indication, King is able to have an enormous yr, constructing off what he did in 12 months 1 with the Hurricanes in 2020, when he threw for two,686 yards, 23 touchdowns and 5 interceptions whereas including 538 yards speeding and 4 touchdowns. — Adelson

Kedon Slovis checks the entire Heisman candidate packing containers: quarterback, main model, enormous market, particular person title recognition, pass-heavy offense. Successful is a very powerful variable for Slovis’ possibilities, and that will likely be impacted considerably by how he performs. It is arduous to think about a state of affairs the place USC wins the Pac-12 and Slovis is not, at minimal, a top-10 vote-getter. — Bonagura

16. LSU Tigers: DB Derek Stingley Jr.

Quarterback Max Johnson has promise. So does extensive receiver Kayshon Boutte. However let’s assume a bit of exterior the field and think about Derek Stingley Jr. right here. He is been arguably essentially the most gifted cornerback in faculty soccer the previous two years. And with Eli Ricks taking part in reverse him, opposing quarterbacks should not have the ability to merely cease throwing in his course this season. However even when they do, Stingley has an ace up his sleeve in that he is additionally a gifted punt returner. What’s extra, there’s been some discuss that he would finally play each methods at receiver, as he did in highschool. Whereas that hasn’t occurred but, doing so may launch Stingley into the stratosphere. — Scarborough

Indiana was the most effective tales in faculty soccer final season, and it was partially due to Michael Penix Jr.’s play. Earlier than tearing his ACL, Penix threw for 1,645 yards with 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He’ll possible must get his completion share up from 2020 (56.4%) to contend, but when he is in a position to keep wholesome and Indiana repeats a lot of its success from final season, Penix can contend along with his abilities. — Lyles

With Mekhi Sargent off to the NFL, Tyler Goodson goes to have each alternative to shine at Iowa. He led the workforce in speeding yards final season with 762 yards and in addition had seven speeding touchdowns. He has heart Tyler Linderbaum blocking for him, he has quarterback Spencer Petras again, and there is each motive to consider Goodson ought to have a good higher season in 2021 than he did in 2020. — VanHaaren

Jahan Dotson has been a playmaker for Penn State at extensive receiver and has come up large in instances of want. He had 884 receiving yards final season with eight touchdowns in 9 video games. Dotson has a brand new offensive coordinator in Mike Yurcich, who will carry an air assault to the Nittany Lions. The brand new offense ought to give Dotson much more alternatives to make dazzling performs and put up large numbers in his closing season. — VanHaaren

Let’s, for a second, faux an offensive lineman can win the Heisman Trophy, as a result of it is untimely to place Huskies quarterback Dylan Morris within the dialog. If that had been to vary, he’ll possible have Jaxson Kirkland to thank. The mammoth left sort out is among the many finest at his place in faculty soccer and can possible be headed to the NFL after this season. — Bonagura



Try highlights from Texas RB Bijan Robinson as he seems to have a robust sophomore marketing campaign with the Longhorns.

Bijan Robinson dazzled as a freshman, averaging a school-record 8.2 yards per carry … however to the dismay of Texas followers, he acquired simply 86 carries. With Steve Sarkisian’s arrival, Robinson takes heart stage. Sarkisian has made it clear that he expects his operating again to be prepared to hold the load this yr, and Sarkisian’s success to find methods to get the ball to his backs, together with within the passing recreation, will make Robinson an element within the Heisman race. He completed final season with 355 yards on simply 19 carries in wins at Kansas State and within the Alamo Bowl win over Colorado, a mean of 18.7 yards per carry. — Wilson

It should take many extra video games just like the prime-time win over BYU final season to launch a Heisman marketing campaign for upstart Coastal Carolina. But when anybody can do it, it is quarterback Grayson McCall, who dazzled the faculty soccer world final season, profitable Solar Belt Participant of the 12 months and Solar Belt Freshman of the 12 months after throwing for 26 touchdowns and simply three interceptions in 11 video games. What’s extra, he rushed for 569 yards and 7 scores. If Coastal makes one other New 12 months’s Six bid, possibly he could make a run at New York. — Scarborough

If the Ragin’ Cajuns make a run on the Faculty Soccer Playoff — and that is not out of the query if they will beat Texas within the season opener — then do not be stunned if quarterback Levi Lewis turns into the face of this system and an extended shot Heisman contender. He is the uncommon tremendous senior who took benefit of the additional yr of eligibility afforded to gamers as a result of COVID-19. He is already third in program historical past in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns. However greater than profession numbers, he is a dynamic participant who can rating simply as simply along with his ft as along with his arm. — Scarborough

24. Utah Utes: QB Charlie Brewer

The Heisman Trophy has been, oddly sufficient, an award for switch quarterbacks in recent times. So whereas Charlie Brewer hasn’t even crushed out Cameron Rising to win the beginning job but, he nonetheless appears like one of the best wager for Utah after arriving from Baylor, the place he began for 4 years. Brewer wants simply 300 yards passing to succeed in 10,000 for his faculty profession. — Bonagura

Final season was speculated to be a nationwide coming-out occasion for quarterback Jayden Daniels. After beginning as a real freshman in 2019, Daniels was positioned to steer the Solar Devils to an enormous season, just for COVID-19 to wreak havoc — even in comparison with the remainder of the Pac-12 — on their season. This yr, nearly everyone seems to be again, and assuming the NCAA investigation does not hamper the workforce’s on-field efficiency, Daniels may grow to be a nationally acknowledged title. — Bonagura

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