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In this most unique of seasons, we have waited some time before taking a crack at reviewing many of this year’s most impactful players dotting the college football landscape, in part because not all of the nation’s players have even suited up yet.
We are entering Week 1 for the Pac-12 and are only two weeks into the Big Ten season. Other conferences, meanwhile, have crossed the halfway point of their schedules. But the highlight play from all corners of the country are adding up and we’ve got some catching up to do.
Let’s dig in first with BYU QB Zach Wilson, who has led the Cougars to a 7-0 start following Saturday’s win and a trip into the Top 10. Jim Rome brought the quarterback onto his national radio show to discuss, among other things, the Heisman buzz he’s getting. 247Sports also sung his praises here.
Heisman hype isn’t new to everyone, certainly not to Ohio State’s Justin Fields, a finalist in 2019 who finished third in the voting. The Buckeyes have only played twice (including an impressive win over Penn State on Saturday), but Fields’ work is good enough to have already topped The Athletics’ list of Heisman candidates.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence spent his first two seasons in Death Valley hearing Heisman talk and 2020 is no different. Well, it’s a bit different. The junior third-year starter led the top-ranked Tigers to a 6-0 start, but was forced to miss Week 7 after testing positive for Covid, which will also force him to sit out this week’s game against Notre Dame.
Still, Stadium’s college football analysts think the race may come down to Fields and Lawrence.
Others have Lawrence falling further, including Heisman winner Tim Tebow. Tebow, in fact, has vaulted Alabama QB Mac Jones into his top spot. Jones led the Crimson Tide to its sixth win to start the season last week.
Not surprisingly, Alabama also features a pair of offensive weapons garnering attention besides Jones in in running back Najee Harris and wideout DeVonta Smith, both of whom are also in Tebow’s top 6 and The Athletic’s top 8. Touchdown Alabama makes the case to include Harris in the Heisman talk here.
Lawrence’s backfield mate at Clemson, running back Travis Etienne, is firmly in most people’s top 10, moreso after he picked up the slack from Lawrence’s absence in the Tigers’ win over Boston College. Etienne became the ACC’s all-time rushing leader Saturday.
Other players popping up on Heisman lists include Florida QB Kyle Trask, who has the Gators off to a 3-1 start, as well as Oklahoma State running back Chubba Hubbard and Iowa State back Breece Hall, who surpassed 100 yards rushing last week for the sixth game in a row.
When the Pac-12 kicks off play this weekend, two of its top Heisman candidates – both sophomore QBs – will square off Saturday morning. USC, led by 2019 Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year Kedon Slovis, hosts Arizona State, guided by Jayden Daniels, at 9 a.m. PT at the Coliseum.