Heisman news and notes from around the football landscape.
Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, is less than three weeks away from finding out where he will be gainfully employed this fall.
But he likely already has an idea of where it will be.
The Carolina Panthers have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft – the longtime former home of fellow Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton — and Young is widely predicted to be the first player taken on April 27.
This NFL.com piece has him first. So does this recent CBSsports.com article. And this PFF story, too. The Ringer’s latest mock draft bucks this trend and has two time Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud going to Carolina with Young dropping a spot and seeing him taken second by Houston.
Time will tell.
If Young were to go first, he would be the first Heisman winner taken atop the draft since Joe Burrow in 2019. He would also become the 24th Heisman winner taken first in the NFL draft, the 41st among the top 5 and the 59th taken in the first round.
Just like Young had to return to Alabama following his Heisman win, the latest Heisman winner will have to wait a year before joining the NFL.
Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman recipient, is four weeks into his second Spring Football camp with USC. He will undoubtedly be among the favorites to win the 2023 award with a chance to become just the second two-time Heisman winner.
Williams’ head coach Lincoln Riley discussed the evolution of his Trojan QB in this recent interview with Colin Cowherd. There is no shortage of excitement for Williams’ encore season at USC and he was just named a 2023 Walter Camp first-team preseason All-American. That figures to be the first of many preseason accolades.
Williams is slated to play in USC’s Spring Game on April 15 at noon (PT), which will air on Pac-12 Networks.
Speaking of Heisman winners from Los Angeles, UCLA’s 1967 Heisman-winning quarterback Gary Beban will join 21 other former Bruin quarterbacks attending a “charity fundraiser April 15 at the Luskin Center benefiting UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.”
The list of UCLA quarterbacks slated for the event also includes 1988 Heisman finalist and third-place finisher Troy Aikman as well as 1998 finalist and fellow Bruin third-place finisher, Cade McNown.
This L.A. Times story has the details.
Speaking of really good Heisman winning running backs, 2015 winner Derrick Henry is back in the gym prepping for the 2023 season. Known for his intense workouts, here’s a clip of him back in the muscle-building lab as he gets set for his eighth NFL season.
Henry is the NFL’s active leading rusher with 8,335 career yards, 42nd overall on the NFL all-time list.
There are still seven Heisman winners ahead of him on that chart. The closest is Earl Campbell, who finished his career with 9,407.
Speaking of Heisman winners who went to Alabama (like Henry), 2020 winner DeVonta Smith, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance with the Eagles last season, has a new Heisman-winning teammate on the roster.
Marcus Mariota, our 2014 winner, has signed with Philadelphia to serve as a back-up for 2019 Heisman finalist Jalen Hurts.
Said Mariota about joining the Eagles: “I’m at a point in my career where I just want to enjoy the game. I want to have fun doing it. The scheme is very exciting for me and the fact of the matter is, I feel like I can help Jalen. And, if we can make Jalen a better player, this team’s gonna be better. And to be apart of a team that was a play away from winning the Super Bowl, was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”
As for Smith, he recently appeared on CBS Mornings to talk about his new conversion to eating healthy and better nutrition. You can see the interview here.