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The 2019 College Football season kicked off this past weekend with an inter-state rivalry as the Florida Gators edged the Miami Hurricanes 24-20 on Saturday. This Thursday kicks off a great slate of weekend games that will give the nation its first glimpse of the Top 3 Heisman candidates this season.
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson): Top-ranked Clemson will whip on Georgia Tech to set the season off on Thursday night. Lawrence should get a productive start on a Heisman race that the media has already handed to him.
Last season, Lawrence, a true freshman knocked starter Kelly Bryant out the mix and wound up killing the game, completing 65 percent of his passes for 3,280 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four picks — plus a national title win over mighty Alabama.
Heisman front-runner Trevor Lawrence moments ago. No.1 #Clemson needs just 12 wins to join Alabama, 1890’s Yale & Penn as only programs with 115 wins in a decade. #ALLIN #REPEAT
FULL ? PLUS DABO, TEE, MUSE, DK & MORE HERE: https://t.co/VxLmXH5BlF pic.twitter.com/x0HusjFzMJ
— CUTigers.com (@CUTigers_com) August 26, 2019
The media hype is definitely going to be real with the 6-foot-6 golden child. By the time we get to the NFL Draft, people will be calling him the next Dan Marino.
Some already are.
Former Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer went as far as to call him the “greatest college quarterback of all time” after just one season.
Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama): Before Lawrence snatched his shine in the CFB Playoffs title game last season, Tags was the projected Heisman winner and No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. His sophomore season certainly didn’t hurt his stock. He completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just four interceptions, but two-sport shooting star Kyler Murray swept in and stole the show.
This season, Tags will have an NFL caliber offense, including Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver Jerry Jeudy and first-year five-star phenom Jaylen Waddle. He has to put up some monster numbers to wrestle the Heisman from Lawrence, but there is hope.
Trevor Lawrence may be the preseason first team All-American, but Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to win the Heisman ? pic.twitter.com/2hMvZGz9XS
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 20, 2019
Alabama is loaded and ready to avenge its loss to Clemson in the title game. Tagovailoa wants to get another crack at Lawrence, so he’ll be carrying that chip on his shoulder all season.
Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma): With his roller coaster ride at Alabama far in the rearview, Hurst will debut as the Oklahoma Sooners starter against Houston. The Cougars are a nice opening night warm-up for the nation to get a look at Hurts’ passing acumen.
The ultimate redemption song for Hurts this season would be to finish in the Top 5 in the nation in passing yards, lead Oklahoma to a national title with a win over Alabama and win the Heisman. He’s going to get an opportunity to do all of that.
Congrats to Jalen Hurts on winning the Heisman. https://t.co/hVpbd6PdIb
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 19, 2019
In his two years as Oklahoma’s head coach, Lincoln Riley’s teams have led the nation in total offense and yards per play, and quarterback Baker Mayfield and Murray won consecutive Heisman Trophies and became No. 1 draft picks. Hurts is next up and how well he makes the transformation from game-manager to running the nation’s most explosive offense will determine Oklahoma’s fate and his own.
If Hurts truly wants to go pro, then leaving Alabama for Riley’s high-flying attack is the best move he could have ever made. You can’t ignore Hurts in this Heisman race.