Ranking the top 7 Heisman Trophy candidates for 2019
The 2019 NCAA Football season is right around the corner and it’s time to start taking a look at what the season may hold. Not only are there some big-time stars to keep an eye on for the Heisman Trophy race, there are a lot of teams who have the talent to compete for a National Championship this season.
Looking at the nation from a player perspective, there are quite a few talents who could compete for the Heisman Trophy this year. Let’s dive in and take a look at the top seven options entering the 2019 season.
7. Travis Etienne, Running Back, Clemson
Starting off, Travis Etienne is higher on some lists when it comes to Heisman candidates for the 2019 season. He is a massive part of a prolific offense for the Clemson Tigers and is going to have a big role as a dual-threat back once again this season.
Last year at Clemson, Etienne ended up carrying the football 204 times for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Etienne is going to be one of the most entertaining players to watch this season in college football.
6. Adrian Martinez, Quarterback, Nebraska
Perhaps the most surprising name on this list, Adrian Martinez is a player that the nation will hear much more about this season. It has been some time since the Cornhuskers were a popular team to watch, but Martinez will bring them back into the picture.
Martinez had a solid season last year with Nebraska, completing 64.6 percent of his pass attempts for 2,617 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He also ran for 629 yards and eight touchdowns. Nebraska’s new quarterback may not end up winning the Heisman, but he is certainly a name to keep an eye on.
5. Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon
Next up, Justin Herbert has received a lot of hype as a future NFL starting quarterback. Many think he will be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Either way, he is ready to put together a big season for the Ducks.
During the 2018 season at Oregon, Herbert completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,151 yards, 29 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. In addition to his passing numbers, Herbert picked up 166 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. His completion percentage could use some work, but he definitely belongs on this list.
4. Sam Ehlinger, Quarterback, Texas
Sam Ehlinger is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the nation this season. He is helping lead Texas back to relevance and is expected to have a big season. There is no denying how big of an arm he has, but his ability to use his legs to make plays has been noticed as well.
Last season, Ehlinger racked up 3,292 passing yards to go along with 25 touchdowns and just five interceptions on a 64.7 completion percentage. He also picked up 482 yards and another 16 touchdowns on the ground. The Longhorns believe they can compete this season, but it will all start with Ehlinger.
3. Jonathan Taylor, Running Back, Wisconsin
The second running back on this list, Jonathan Taylor has star potential at the next level. Wisconsin is always one of the top contenders in the Big Ten and will be once again this season with Taylor leading the way.
Taylor racked up 307 carries for 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground last season. He caught eight passes for 60 yards as well. There are very few running back in the nation with more talent than Taylor and he is without question one of the top candidates to win the coveted Heisman this year.
2. Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama
Obviously, Alabama is usually going to have a player or two on this list. Tua Tagovailoa deserves this spot, although some rank him number one. Nick Saban and company have become a yearly pick for the National Championship game, which many see being the case again this year.
Tagovailoa put up a massive season last year for the Crimson Tide. He completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns, and six interceptions to go along with 190 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Alabama will be looking for an even bigger season from him this year, which will put him in firm contention for the Heisman Trophy.
1. Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson
Finally, Trevor Lawrence is the second Clemson player to make this list. Many view him as a future NFL superstar and some have even started comparing him to Peyton Manning. Those are bold comparisons, but he has lived up to the hype so far.
Lawrence completed 65.2 percent of his pass attempts for 3,280 yards, 30 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Being able to put those numbers up as a freshman is an impressive feat. Clemson will be looking to give him even more opportunities to put up bigger numbers in 2019, which will translate into being a top Heisman candidate.