The Heisman Trophy is given annually to the best college football player in the country. Winning the prestigious award puts one in rarified air with just 85 other former college football legends.
Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only player to win it twice.
This year’s award will likely come down to Alabama QB Bryce Young, Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III and Ohio State QB CJ Stroud. Pitt QB Kenny Pickett, Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder and Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams are the dark horses.
Bryce Young (Alabama QB)
Alabama’s Bryce Young is the latest signal-calling prodigy coming from the newfound QB factory in Tuscaloosa. The first-year starter’s been dynamite all season, using his arm and legs to buy time and find receivers to the tune of 2,543 yards, 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Bryce Young is the most accurate QB in College Football 🚨🐘
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 29, 2021
His 70 percent completion percentage is eye-opening, along with his bold 9.2 yards per attempt average.
Young looks to pad those stats this week against LSU’s porous pass defense, which has allowed 1,360 passing yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. Expect a mammoth passing day by “BY9.”
Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State RB)
The Michigan State running back had his Heisman moment this past weekend in a matchup against archrival Michigan in East Lansing.
Walker III used his elite vision and underrated quickness to elude would-be Wolverines tacklers for 206 total yards and five touchdowns in a 37-33 come-from-behind win over the “Hail To The Victor.”
Kenneth Walker III has FIVE touchdowns vs #6 Michigan 🤯
RB1 on our 2022 draft board 😤pic.twitter.com/16Dvk2MKpB
— PFF (@PFF) October 30, 2021
The Wolverines entered Saturday’s matchup allowing a paltry 3.6 yards per carry, but Walker gashed them for an average of 8.6 on 23 rushing attempts. He delivered a performance that elevates him to the top of some lists.
Not bad for a guy who left Wake Forest because it wasn’t a good fit. The move seems to have worked out for both parties, as Walker’s current and former teams are both undefeated at 8-0. Walker has rushed for 1,192 yards, 15 touchdowns and a 6.8 YPC average.
CJ Stroud (Ohio State QB)
CJ Stroud throws arguably the prettiest deep ball in all of college football. But don’t sleep on his accuracy in the short to intermediate passing game. He just efficiently shredded the No. 15-ranked pass defense in the nation in the Buckeyes’ 33-24 win over Penn State.
CJ STROUD WITH THE DIME TO OLAVE 😍 https://t.co/3OexKazmYr
— Barstool Ohio State (@BarstoolOSU) October 31, 2021
Stroud has one of the best receiving corps in America with Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba all getting it done on the outside weekly. If his offensive line continues to give him time he’ll make teams pay.
The strong-armed Stroud has passed for 2,270 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His completion percentage has hovered around 67 percent all season and his 10.2 YPA is even better than Young’s.
Matt Corral (Ole Miss QB)
Corral is a great player with generational arm talent, and he uses it to dissect defenses. His speed and agility make him a legit dual-threat. Corral takes a bum ankle into his matchup against Liberty’s Malik Willis, a lethal dual-threat QB in his own right.
— ESPN (@espn) October 31, 2021
Corral, who has passed for 2,202 yards, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions and rushed for 519 yards and 10 TDs could very well get outplayed.
No West Coast Recruiting Love
All three QBs listed are West Coast products thriving in the Midwest and South. Losing these type of elite four- and five-star quarterbacks is killing PAC-12 recruiting, and that’s evidenced by them only having two teams ever qualify for the CFP (Oregon in 2014 and Washington in 2016).