The college football world, celebrating its 150th year, got off to a ringing start to its sesquicentennial season on Saturday with two exciting finishes. If these two down-to-the-wire games are any indication, college football has big plans for this anniversary season.
Now it’s time to get up to speed on the annual race for the most prestigious trophy in sports. To help you in that task, have a look at our traditional weekly feature that rounds up the latest Heisman news and updates from around the media world.
(Disclaimer — The Heisman Trophy Trust and Heisman.com 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).
No. 8 Florida, led by quarterback Feleipe Franks, outlasted Miami, 24-20, in a back-and-forth contest that came down to the final drive.
Shortly after – six time zones away – Hawaii got a huge win over Arizona in Honolulu, 45-38, that came down to the game’s final play. Athletic Wildcat quarterback Khalil Tate – part of a deep field of Pac-12 signal callers – registered his first 300-yard passing, 100-yard rushing game and almost sent the game into overtime on the final play of regulation, his mad scramble from the 31-yard line ending one yard short of the goal line.
The USA Today broke out its pre-season Heisman Trophy poll going eight deep, using its own Heisman voters and Gannett property outlets. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence was “the only player named on all 21 ballots, picked first on 17 of them.” Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa got the remaining four first-place votes and was second overall. Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor was the only running back on the chart, coming in third.
The folks at NFL.com had their own pre-season poll, where Tagovailoa topped the list with Lawrence second and Georgia QB Jake Fromm third. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. was the highest wide receiver on the list, coming in at No. 7.
The Buffaloes’ do-it-all offensive threat should electrify the Pac-12 for the second year in a row, after an 86-catch, 1,011-yard season as a sophomore. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he’s no easy tackle in the secondary, yet he also has the speed to score from long-distance field position.
Former Ohio State-Florida-Utah Coach Urban Meyer, who knows a thing or two about Heisman winners, has traded in his clipboard in favor of a microphone this season, joining the media-scape as a broadcaster. He shared his thoughts on some of the big college football storylines with the New York Post, breaking down who he thinks are some of the top players and coaches in the nation. He also touched on Heisman winner Tim Tebow and his fondest game memory of Tebow.
Meyer: I’d have to say in that second half of the national championship against Oklahoma. He took over the game. My recommendation to the offensive coordinator was very simple — keep the ball in Tim’s hands.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune picked its five Big Ten players to watch this year, led by Johnathan Taylor.
Alabama-turned-Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts has spent his college career on Heisman lists. But he’s focused right now on continuing the Sooners’ on-field success writes the Waco Tribune-Herald here.
ESPN recounts Ndamukong Suh’s fantastic 2009 season that saw the defensive lineman juggernaut finish fourth in the Heisman voting.
Leinart on Lawrence: He just gets it, he understands it… I’ve never seen a freshman quarterback play like that.
Speaking of college football’s 150th year, here’s a link to ESPN’s new “My Story” series which will include 60-second testimonials from across the college football spectrum. Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel’s reflection of getting benched one time against Kentucky by coach and fellow winner Steve Spurrier is among the first posted.