By Garrett Athey
The Heisman Trophy will be presented this year on December 9th to the best college football player. The award is given out every year since 1935 and can be given to an offensive or defensive player. Those who have won the award in the past typically go on to have great professional careers. Notable alumni of the trophy include O. J. Simpson, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders, Charles Woodson, and Cam Newton. Last year, Sophomore Lamar Jackson from the University of Louisville won the trophy for his outstanding play. This year’s candidates include running back Saquon Barkley from Penn State, quarterback Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma, and running back Bryce Love from Stanford.
Saquon Barkley is an explosive player who has speed and is very strong for his position. He has helped Penn State become one of the best teams in the country with his play this year, leading to NFL teams taking a huge interest in him. As a running back, Barkley is arguably one of the best in the entire country. However, he is also a very talented receiving back, often making catches in the backfield for big plays. Additionally, Barkley is a good special teams returner who always is a threat to return kickoffs and punts for touchdowns. It is easy to see why Barkley is a favorite to win the Heisman after considering his play this season.
Another outstanding candidate, Baker Mayfield, is a dual threat quarterback that is always making big plays. Due to his play, Oklahoma is the number five team in the nation as they have only lost one game. Not only is Mayfield talented at throwing the ball, he is also a skilled runner with the ball and is not afraid to use his legs to make a play. This season he is second in the country in passing yards as well as total offense. This has led many professional teams to recruit Mayfield as he has become one of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming drafts. Mayfield has made a good case as to why he should win the Heisman this year.
Bryce Love is another fantastic running back who is well deserving of the Heisman honor. He currently leads all of college football in rushing yards this season. However, Love is an underrated candidate who is not being looked at seriously. Most of the reason for this lack of attention could be due to the fact that Stanford is not highly ranked. They currently have three losses but are still in second place in their conference. Love is just as deserving as both Barkley and Mayfield because of his play this season. He is a game changer in every game he has played in this season.
As for predictions of who the winner will be, Senior Brenden Rose said, “Saquon Barkley is [going to] win because of his ability to play multiple positions.” Barkley is big enough and skilled enough to play more than just a running back. He has proven to scouts that he is worthy of a first round pick in the draft. Barkley has also shown why he is deserving of the Heisman as he continues to dominate every opponent that faces him. However, others believe another candidate is more deserving of the award. Senior Aidan Sedlack said, “Baker Mayfield is [going to] win because he is putting up stats that no one can compete with.” Mayfield is putting up insane numbers this season, including a game against Oklahoma State in which he had 598 yards and five touchdowns. Any player with these statistics are worthy of winning the Heisman with ease. And as for Bryce Love, Senior Jordan Taylor said, “He has had the most consistent Heisman caliber season and is deserving of winning.” Leading the country in rushing will certainly help Love’s chances of winning it all.
The world will have to wait to see which candidate will come out victorious with the Heisman. This could possibly be one of the closest races in Heisman history. Whoever does win will have a great accomplishment to add to their resume and hopefully get the chance to play in the NFL. With each game, the players keep proving why the trophy should be theirs.