Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, with a week of conference championships to follow, the race for the Heisman Trophy remains tight.
The Athletic’s straw poll maintains Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III atop its straw poll, garnering the lion’s share of first place votes, while Alabama’s QB Bryce Young and LB Will Anderson are 2-3 with Georgia DL Jordan Davis fourth.
Three others received first-place votes, Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, Georgia DL Nakobe Dean and Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson. Overall, 18 players received at least one vote.
Walker leads the nation in rushing yards per game (147.3) as well as total rushing (1473) and had 172 total yards last week in a win over Maryland.
A huge test awaits him as the Spartans have a road test at Ohio State on Saturday against the Buckeyes pair of Heisman hopefuls, QB C.J. Stroud and RB TreVeyon Henderson, eighth and and 13th, respectively, in the aforementioned straw poll.
TheScore.com lists Young atop its rankings. The sophomore has a gaudy 35-3 TD to INT ratio, completing 70.9% of his passes for 3,025 yards.
Walker III was second with Stroud third, Corral fourth and Pitt QB Kenny Pickett fifth. Stroud is coming off of his third five-TD passing performance last week against Purdue.
ESPN’s Robert Griffin III also has Young atop his weekly Heisman Watch list with Walker III second, Stroud third, Pickett fourth and Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman fifth. Griffin III extended his look to eight deep this week with Corral sixth, Baylor RB Abram Smith seventh and Georgia’s Davis eighth.
Fansided, echoing others, has Young first, Walker III second and Stroud third. Corral (with over 3,200 passing yards, over 500 rushing yards and 27 total TDs) is listed fourth with Hartman, Pickett and Hutchinson (coming off a three-sack performance vs. Penn State last week) in a tie for fifth.
CollegeFootballNews.com also has Young-Walker III-Stroud at 1-2-3 with Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams at No. 4 and Pickett at No. 5 while including Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder, Corral, Davis, Hartman and Henderson in their Watch List.
Young has three big tests coming up in Arkansas, Auburn and Georgia (if Alabama wins its next two). Hartman has a chance for the spotlight against Clemson this week. Ridder and the unbeaten Bearcats host a strong SMU team on Saturday.