Photo Credit: Today’s U (featured image), CBS Sports (team logos)
5. Donnel Pumphrey, Running Back, San Diego State Aztecs (9-1)
- Statistics: 270 rush attempts, 1,779 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 20 receptions, 145 receiving yards
- Analysis: So far this season, Pumphrey has been the best running back in college football, as he is the leader in rush attempts and rushing yards among all running backs in the nation. He is also 2nd among all running backs who have 191 or more carries with an average of 6.6 yards per rushing attempt and is tied for 4th among running backs with 14 rushing touchdowns. Despite not playing for a national contender, Pumphrey has put his team on his back and performed well above average each week in the running game. Come the end of the season, he may not have a great chance to actually win the award, but right now, he is certainly a top 5 candidate.
4. Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0)
- Statistics: 167/260 (64.2% pass completion percentage), 2,032 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 126 rush attempts, 735 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Jalen Hurts has emerged as the best freshman quarterback in the entire country, and he is leading the #1 team in the country to a likely berth in their 3rd consecutive College Football Playoff and possible 2nd national title in a row and 5th in eight seasons. His passing game is becoming more and more efficient each week, and on the ground, he is nearly unstoppable. Last week’s performance against the Mississippi State Bulldogs showed that he is for real, as he became the first quarterback in Alabama history to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game. Don’t sleep on Jalen Hurts, the quarterback that is leading the most dominant team in the country, when it comes down to giving out this season’s Heisman Trophy award.
3. Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, #9 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2)
- Statistics: 213/296 (72.0% completion percentage), 3,212 passing yards, 33 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 66 rush attempts, 131 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Despite a rather slow start to the season, Baker Mayfield is really starting to show that he belongs in at least the top 5 discussion for the Heisman Trophy award. He was among the preseason favorites to win the award, but a slow start to the season by those standards, which included two losses in the first three games for Oklahoma, held him back from being on this list until now. Now, Mayfield is really starting to show the world the quarterback that he is capable of being, and that quarterback is a quarterback that can blow the top off of any defense he faces, which he has shown us over the past couple of weeks. Now that Oklahoma is back up among the top teams in the nation in all of the polls and rankings, Mayfield’s recent play is not going unnoticed nor unappreciated, and it has been enough to put him in among the top 5 candidates in the Heisman discussion, at least for now.
2. JT Barrett, Quarterback, #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1)
- Statistics: 189/292 (64.7% pass completion percentage), 2,218 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 140 rush attempts, 617 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: JT Barrett is as elusive and as athletic of a quarterback as they come, and he is leading yet another Ohio State Buckeyes team with College Football Playoff aspirations. Barrett is not as much of a passing quarterback as he needs to be to be ranked higher on this list, and his rushing numbers don’t exactly make up for it, despite them not being too shabby whatsoever. Combined, his passing and rushing numbers make him one of the best quarterbacks in college football, which helps his case of being on this list. Barrett is a big time playmaker who posts statistics that are well above average, yet not earth-shattering, and leads his team to quality victories, which is what you would expect from a Heisman Trophy award candidate.
1. Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, #5 Louisville Cardinals (9-1)
- Statistics: 184/314 (58.6% pass completion percentage), 2,898 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 184 rush attempts, 1,334 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Lamar Jackson is the clear frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy award this season. He has totaled a 46 touchdowns through just 10 games this season, and he did not even play all four quarters in each of those 10 games. His elite, unprecedented, and absolutely electrifying passing and running skill set combination makes him the best overall quarterback in college football, and until somebody can prove otherwise, this award is his to lose. He is one of the nation’s top passing quarterbacks, and he is the nation’s best running quarterback, as he is 6th among all players in the nation in rushing yards with 1,334 and leads the nation in rushing touchdowns with 19. His weekly numbers back up his status as the Heisman frontrunner.