October football is here, the leaves are starting to change, as is the Heisman hopeful hype, so let’s review the landscape of our trophy talk after week four of the season.
Our newest Heisman winner turned college football analyst Robert Griffin III released his latest Heisman top 5 with QBs Bryce Young (Alabama), Matt Corral (Ole Miss), Jake Haenar (Fresno State) and Taulia Tagovailoa (Maryland) listed 1-4 and Syracuse RB Sean Tucker fifth.
Fansided had Corral and Young 1-2 in its post-Week 4 poll with Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III third, Michigan RB Blake Corum fourth and Haener fifth.
Yahoo Sports mirrored Fansided at the top with Corral and Young 1-2, but shows Texas RB Bijan Robinson third, Walker III fourth and Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder fifth.
Young is coming off of a breezy 313 yards and 5 TDs in Alabama’s walk-over of Southern Miss while Corral was off in Week 4.
Haener has led the upstart Bulldogs to a 4-1 start with a win over then-No. 13 UCLA and a close content with now No. 3 Oregon. He has already amassed 1,842 yards passing with 15 TDs and just two interceptions to go with three rushing TDs. The East Bay Times detailed his emergence.
Corum has rushed for 475 yards, averaging 6.9 a carry, with 7 TDs, while adding eight receptions with a score for the 4-0 Wolverines. His counterpart in Lansing, Walker III, has 554 yards on the ground at a clip of 7.3 per carry with 5 TDs for the also unbeaten Spartans.
Tagovailoa has Maryland off to a 4-0 start with 1,350 yards passing, completing 75.5% of his aerials with 10 TDs. His and the Terrapins biggest test so far comes Saturday against No. 5 Iowa with No. 11 Ohio State next.
Tucker meanwhile has gained 536 yards on the ground, 175 via receptions with and eight total TDs.
Robinson has rushed for 436 yards and 5 TDs with another eight receptions for 145 yards and two mores scores. Ridder has thrown for 748 yards and seven scores with a pair of rushing TDs, too, leading the Bearcats to a 3-0 start.
Saturday Blitz still had Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler and Georgia QB JT Daniels in its top 5 Heisman watch. Rattler entered the season with huge expectations amid Heisman frontrunner talk. He has thrown for 1,017 yards, completing 74.1 of his passes with an 8-3 TD to interception ratio while OU is 4-0, but it hasn’t been enough to remain a top candidate in many folks’ eyes.
Daniels had similar hype, but after modest numbers in the Bulldogs’ season-opening win over Clemson and missing a game due to injury, he fell off the radar a bit. He followed it with a strong effort in a 40-13 win over South Carolina, but only played (understandably) in a fraction of Georgia’s 62-0 romp over Vanderbilt.
He’ll be back in the spotlight as Georgia takes on upstart and eighth-ranked Arkansas, whose dark horse candidate, QB KJ Jefferson, has orchestrated wins over two top 15 teams. He has thrown for 844 yards and six TDs in four games to go with 230 yards rushing and two more scores. He’s also generating some Heisman talk and comparisons.
At No. 3, Oregon has yet to show a Heisman frontrunner, but QB Anthony Brown and RB CJ Verdell have guided the Ducks into early CFP playoff talk and the Heisman chatter may not be far behind. UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has led UCLA to a 4-1 start and some dark horse talk.
Notre Dame QB Jack Coan has the Irish 4-0, the same record Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall has led his squad to. He has thrown for 901 yards with 8 TDs while running for two more.
Also impressive is Liberty QB Malik Willis, who is completing 71.6% of his passes for 818 yards and 10 TDs without an interception while leading the Flames in rushing (274) with four scores on the ground
It was a solid week for the nine current Heisman Trophy winners in the NFL, the group going 7-2 overall in Week 3.
Overall, the Heisman fraternity has started the season strongly. Derrick Henry (353) and Lamar Jackson (262) are first and fourth, respectively, in the NFL in rushing while Kyler Murray is third in passing yards (1,005). Joe Burrow and Jameis Winston are tied with Murray for the fifth-most passing TDs (seven).
Murray has the Cardinals 3-0 for first time since 2015 while Burrow just led the Bengals to their first win in Pittsburgh since the same year.
The Heisman-led Bengals, Browns and Ravens are all 2-1, as are the Titans.
We lost a giant in the Heisman world recently in the passing of Rudy Riska. The New York Times looked at his immeasurable impact on the trophy.
In other Heisman-related news, Mark Ingram disclosed where he keeps his Heisman.
History.com detailed the life and impact of our trophy’s namesake, John Heisman.
Nebraska Heisman winners were in attendance at a golf fundraiser to support former Husker student-athletes.