Photo Credit: The Morning Call (featured image), CBS Sports (team logos)
20. Mitch Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4)
- Statistics: 281/408 (68.9% completion percentage), 3,468 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 79 rush attempts, 270 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards
- Analysis: Mitch Trubisky is an accurate quarterback that does a well above average job of moving the ball through the air, and he is also somewhat of a threat to run the ball. With the solid season he has put together as a dual threat quarterback for the Tar Heels, totaling 33 touchdowns compared to only four interceptions, he should not be overlooked as a deep sleeper to make it into the top 10 in the Heisman Trophy award voting.
19. Jerod Evans, Quarterback, #22 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4)
- Statistics: 247/389 (63.5% pass completion percentage), 3,309 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 182 rush attempts, 759 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Jerod Evans led the Hokies to the ACC championship game where they were almost able to pull off the upset against the College Football Playoff-bound Clemson Tigers. He was an efficient passer all season long and did not turn the ball over much, and his rushing numbers were among the best in the nation among quarterbacks in Power Five conferences. He is definitely deserving of a second look when the voters fill out their ballots for the 2016 Heisman Trophy award.
18. Curtis Samuel, Running Back, #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
- Statistics: 91 rush attempts, 704 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 65 receptions, 822 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns, 5 punt returns, 20 punt return yards, 1 solo tackle, 1 total tackle
- Analysis: Curtis Samuel is a “do-it-all” offensive machine that was an extremely effective running back and wide receiver for Ohio State this season. He ended up averaging 7.7 yards per carry on the group and 12.6 yards per reception through the air while totaling 1,526 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns on only 156 offensive touches. Had he focused on one or the other out of either running or receiving, he would probably still be on this list, but not as far up, since his value to the Buckeyes stemmed directly from his ability to do it all, which makes him a Heisman Trophy award candidate.
17. Jeremy McNichols, Running Back, Boise State Broncos (10-2)
- Statistics: 295 rush attempts, 1,663 rushing yards, 23 rushing touchdowns, 32 receptions, 450 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns, 4 kickoff returns, 72 kickoff return yards
- Analysis: Jeremy McNichols put together a fantastic season at Boise State during which he ran for 1,663 yards, which was 5th best in the nation, and totaled 2,113 yards from scrimmage, which was 2nd in the nation. He also scored 23 rushing touchdowns, which 2nd most among running backs in he nation, and 27 total touchdowns, which led all players among all teams in the FBS. His incredible numbers would make him an extreme snub for the Heisman Trophy award if he were left off of this list.
16. Saquon Barkley, Running Back, #5 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions (11-2)
- Statistics: 247 rush attempts, 1,302 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 23 receptions, 347 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, 1 kickoff return, 17 kickoff return yards
- Analysis: Saquon Barkley is the best running back in the Big Ten Conference, and he was a huge reason why the Nittany Lions were able to pull off an improbable Big Ten Conference championship. He led the conference in rushing yards with 1,649 as well as total touchdowns with 19. His athleticism, talents, and abilities to be a running back stood out all season long, and his profile should be one that is discussed when it comes down to the top Heisman Trophy award candidates this season.