The Buzz: The latest Heisman news and views

(Disclaimer — The Heisman Trophy Trust and does not endorse any college football player for the Heisman Memorial Trophy. The information contained here serves as a platform of information for fans and media, and is not intended to contain a definitive and comprehensive list of possible contenders.)

In Week 10 for some, Week 1 for others, the college football world saw its fullest slate of games in 2020 with countless players posting superlative performances.

Let’s start in the SEC, where Florida QB Kyle Trask pushed his way to the forefront of Heisman talk with 474 passing yards and four TDs in the Gators’ win over No. 5 Georgia, becoming the first QB in SEC history to throw four TD in five consecutive games.

In fact, ESPN has Trask atop its Heisman Five list.

Trask’s efforts weren’t enough for The Athletic’s staff, however, to put him inside its top 4, which still fields Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 1 on its Heisman hopeful chart. Fox College Sports tweeted out this amazing stat on the 2019 Heisman finalist, who has led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start.

Three Alabama weapons are still among Athletic’s Top 10 coming off a bye week – QB Mac Jones (No. 2), QB Najee Harris (No. 7) and wide receiver DeVonta Smith (No. 8). Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence checked in at No. 3 despite missing his second straight game due to Covid protocols. Tiger RB Travis Etienne turned in a modest effort Saturday, but he has north of 1,100 all-purpose yards to go with 12 TDs this year.

BYU officially kicked off the Heisman campaign for QB Zach Wilson, who led the Cougars to an 8-0 record by completing 21-of-27 passes for 359 yards and two scores in a big win over Boise State. He’s No. 4 on ESPN and The Athletic’s Heisman charts.

Among the 2020 surprises has been Indiana’s 3-0 start, led by QB Michael Penix Jr., who has penned impressive wins over Penn State (dubbed by The Sporting News as Indiana’s “most memorable football moment in decades”) and Michigan, leading to some Heisman consideration whispers.

Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde shared his Heisman spotlight with Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall, pointing out, among other things, his 16-1 TD-to-interception ratio while leading the Chanticleers to a 7-0 start. He also highlighted Liberty signal-caller Malik Willis, whose 2020 resume includes 603 rushing yards, the most of any QB nationally.

Forde, meanwhile, shared this sentiment in his column on Fields: “Being the best player on an undefeated team is always a good Heisman recipe—and aside from an improbable Big Ten East Game of the Year Nov. 21 against Indiana, Ohio State should be favored by at least three touchdowns in every remaining game.”

Making his first stake at Heisman attention was USC sophomore QB Kedon Slovis, who led the Trojans, in their season-opener, to a 28-27 come-from-behind victory with two TD passes in the game’s final minutes while finishing with 381 yards passing.

How about USC rival Notre Dame’s top candidates? Running back Kyren Williams has gained 740 yards rushing and 178 yards receiving, scoring 10 TDs, while QB Ian Book has thrown for over 1500 yards, rushed for 279 yards while accounting for a combined 13 TDs, the duo helping the Irish to a 7-0 start after a double OT win over No. 1 Clemson on Saturday. Sports Illustrated, however, cited Irish linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who leads the Notre Dame defense with 8.5 tackles for loss with a pair of forced fumbles, as ND’s top Heisman hopeful.

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