It’s that time of the year again where we get to enjoy college football. Not only is it entertaining, but we also get a chance to win the much coveted Heisman Trophy. We all know that the Heisman Trophy race has never been easy to predict but the candidates for this year’s college football season seem easier. The question on everyone’s mouth now is who will win the 2016 Heisman Trophy? No worries, here are some players you should keep tabs on. Many are also on Bruce Feldman’s piece for Fox Sports.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Watson, a Heisman finalist last year, attracted attention in last season’s game with his brilliant display of mobility while quarterbacking for a Clemson team. He’s a favorite of all American football fans since he was the first college QB to throw for 4,104 yards and run for 1000+ yards in the same season. All signs point on Deshaun since he has nothing against him. And with all that talent in him, expect him to be in the award discussion throughout the season.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
McCaffrey is an exceptional pure running back, among the best kick returners and a fantastic receiver. After his showing in Pasadena, it is no doubt that voters are acutely aware of what he is capable of during kick off. Last year, McCaffrey set a tough standard which he now has to live up to. If he wins the pac-12 again, he will be a spearhead in the Heisman conversation.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
You may recall Chubb for his knees injury which we all witnessed. Because of this, he had to miss the rest of the season. Nick can be a Heisman leading candidate and is capable of being the best running back in the country if he is fully healthy and back up to speed.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
For two months last season, Fournette led the Heisman race. With a strong campaign this year, he has a chance to come back up and be the player to beat in the 2016 Heisman Trophy race. In recent history, only a few backs have been able to beat his fusion of speed and power. Watch out for him this season.
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
Freeman is slightly overshadowed by other running backs, partially because of Oregon’s distress last year. With Freeman’s physicality, Oregon is competent to punish spread-out defenses and spread the field.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
This player has certainly got it all; size, speed, and agility. In the 2015 Heisman vote, Dalvin finished seventh, not quite living up to his status as the nation’s most explosive running back. Unfortunately, Cook may be limited by injuries.
J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
In 2014, Barrett finished fifth in the Heisman race as an unexpected redshirt starter. This season presents a perfect opportunity for Barrett to become a star. The Ohio state will likely utilize his legs and push the tempo.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield finished fourth in the Heisman vote after an excellent debut with the Sooners. He transferred from Texas Tech and took the big 12 by storm. With the new offense coordinator, Lincoln Riley, Baker fits perfectly under him and has passed RB Samaje Perine as the top Heisman candidate for the Sooners.
Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss
A year ago, this would have been impossible, but after a good start in his college career, that began at Clemson, Chad excelled in leading the Rebels to the Sugar Bowl and a 10-3 record. Kelly has one of the toughest nation’s schedule, but if Ole Miss pulls through that schedule, then he has an excellent opportunity to be in the Heisman conversation.
Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston
In 2015, the tandem of Ward led Houston to new heights. Ward has a chance to compete for a Heisman finalist spot. He may not win, but he will have attracted attention mainly if he has a big game in the cougar’s opener.
With two finalists back, we can make strong arguments for all of these players. The safest bet probably is Watson as the country’s best quarterback. Although all these players have a great chance to win.