Photo Credit: Sporting News (featured image), CBS Sports (team logos)
5. Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0)
- Statistics: 220/337 (65.3% pass completion percentage), 2,592 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 162 rush attempts, 841 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 1 solo tackle, 1 total tackle
- Analysis: Jalen Hurts has emerged as the best freshman quarterback in the entire country, and he led the #1 team in the country to a berth in their 3rd consecutive College Football Playoff where they may possibly win their 2nd national title in a row and 5th in eight seasons. His passing game is becoming more and more efficient each game, and on the ground, he is one of the most unstoppable quarterbacks there is. His numbers themselves don’t exactly stand out off the page, but his skillset does. 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.
4. Jake Browning, Quarterback, #4 Washington Huskies (12-1)
- Statistics: 223/353 (65.0% completion percentage), 3,280 passing yards, 42 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 57 rush attempts, 66 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Jake Browning has been among the best quarterbacks in the nation this season, throwing 42 touchdowns in 13 games, which is 2nd in the nation, while throwing just seven interceptions and boasting a completion percentage well above the average quarterback at 63.2%. Aside of having extraordinary statistics in the passing game, he led the Huskies to a dominant season that put them in the College Football Playoff. He is definitely deserving of the recognition of being on this list as one of the top Heisman Trophy award candidates.
3. Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, #7 Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)
- Statistics: 235/330 (71.2% completion percentage), 3,669 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 74 rush attempts, 143 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Baker Mayfield has shown that he belongs in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy award. He was among the preseason favorites to win the award, but a somewhat slow start held him back from being on this list until recently. With the best completion percentage in the nation at 71.2% and the best passing yards per attempt statistic at 11.1, he has really showed the world the quarterback that he is capable of being, and that quarterback is one that can blow the top off of any defense he faces. 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 underappreciated, and it has been enough to put him in among the top candidates in the Heisman Trophy award discussion.
2. DeShaun Watson, Quarterback, #2 Clemson Tigers (12-1)
- Statistics: 328/486 (67.5% completion percentage), 3,914 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 129 rush attempts, 529 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns
- Analysis: Deshaun Watson started the season off slowly, but he picked it up very nicely down the stretch. Led by Watson, the Clemson Tigers have staved off some tough opponents this season, and Watson’s poise and passing numbers, especially in the clutch situations against the many tough teams he has faced, make him a contender to win this season’s Heisman Trophy award, much like he was last season. His rushing numbers are not extraordinary, but they still make him a solid dual threat quarterback. He deserves to be on this list and he deserves to be this high up, especially since he has led the Tigers to be in the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive season.
1. Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, #13 Louisville Cardinals (9-3)
- Statistics: 220/382 (57.6% pass completion percentage), 3,390 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 234 rush attempts, 1,538 rushing yards, 21 rushing touchdowns, 1 solo tackle, 1 total tackle
- Analysis: Lamar Jackson is the clear frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy award this season. He totaled a 51 touchdowns through 12 games this season, and he did not even play all four quarters in each of those 12 games. His elite and electrifying passing and running skill set combination makes him the best overall quarterback in college football. 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 8th among all players in the nation in rushing yards with 1,538 and is tied for 4th in the nation in rushing touchdowns with 21. Despite a rough game here and there, his weekly numbers back up his status as the Heisman frontrunner.