1. Lamar Jackson – Louisville QB: Wow, this guy is incredible. He might be a combination of Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Vince Young and any other top duel threat guys that have ever played the game. He’s just fantastic and right now he is the best player in college football. He’s exciting and fun to watch and is deadly with his arm and with his feet. Everybody expected Jackson to be a good player in 2016, but I would say nobody expected what he has become in just one short year. Last season, he showed flashes of brilliance in leading the Cardinals of Louisville to an 8-5 record. But, this year, the team has raced out to a 3-0 start while averaging over 60 points a game. Lamar Jackson appears unstoppable at this point with Clemson coming up on October 1st. After 3 games, Action
Jackson has 913 passing yards and 8 Touchdown passes. On the ground, he has run for 464 yards and 10 Touchdowns.
2. Deshaun Watson – Clemson QB: Watson had an incredible 2015 season, but he is off to a slow start in 2016. Last season, Watson was the first player to throw for over 4,000 yards and run for over 1,000. Clemson is 4-0 after a Thursday Night win over ACC competitor Georgia Tech. Watson has thrown for 996 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Where he has not produced as much as last season is on the ground. He has only 120 rushing yards and he has yet to score. Watson finished 3rd in the Heisman voting in 2015 behind Alabama’s Derek Henry and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford. But, he has been the media’s darling this year. Clemson and Watson have both gotten off to a really slow start. This next game against Louisville will be teh true test. I doubt Clemson’s playoff chances can survive a loss.
3. Christian McCaffrey – Stanford RB: People watched the Rose Bowl season and said had they seen McCaffrey in action during the season they would have voted for him in the Heisman. Why do these guys get to vote on the Heisman Trophy if they are not seeing everyone play. This blog pushed McCaffrey as much as possible. McCaffrey not only broke Barry Sanders decades old single season all purpose yardage record, he smashed it in one of the more incredible seasons of all time. Last year, he rushed for 2,019 yards, caught 45 passes for 645 yards, 130 yards and a Touchdown on punt returns, 1070 yards and a score on kickoff returns. He also completed 2 out of 2 passes for 39 yards and 2 Touchdowns. In 2 games of the 2016 season, McCaffrey has rushed for 298 yards and caught 10 passes for 106 yards. He had a 96 yard punt return for a score, but it was called back. So far, he
has no scores on punt or kick returns. McCaffrey has little chance at duplicating last season’s success and he has a smaller chance at winning the Heisman. If a voter on the East Coast doesn’t have the desire to set his recording device to record late games on the West Coast, should they really get a vote in the Heisman race? I think not.
4. JT Barrett – Ohio State QB: Barrett is one of the more talented dual threat Quarterbacks in the nation. Barrett and Ohio State’s story is well known from the 2014 season. He lost his starting job to Cardale Jones in 2015, but he won it back late in the season. Jones is gone to the NFL and Barrett has the job all to himself. His numbers have not been overly impressive this season in 3 games. Of course, the Buckeyes have been rolling and have not needed him to produce huge numbers. Barrett threw for 650 yards and 10 Touchdowns in his first 3 games. Like Deshaun Watson, Barrett only has 159 rushing yards and 3 rushing Touchdowns. But, those stats will improve.
5. Leonard Fournette – LSU RB: Early last season, the media was saying that Fournette would win the Heisman and that he was too good for college football. Then, Alabama happened and his Heisman hopes were gone. He still managed to run for 1,953 yards even though his team missed one game. Fournette injured his ankle before the season started in 2016 and hasn’t had the best of beginnings to the 2016 season. The LSU Tigers have played 3 games, but Fournette has only been able to play in 2 games. He has 285 rushing yards on 51 carries and 2 Touchdowns. Fournette will likely be one of the top players picked in the 2017 NFL Draft.
6. Nick Chubb – Georgia RB: Chubb came in with the class of 2014 and was fortunate with the injury to Todd Gurly and he was able to rush for 1,547 yards and 14 Touchdowns. Chubb is 5-10, 228, or so, and he has near sprinters speed. The 2015 season started off like Chubb left off in 2014 with Chubb running for about 745 yards in his first 5 games. On his first carry of the game against Tennessee, Chubb ran outside and he was severely injured on the sideline and was lost for the season. He’s back for the 2016 season and started off with a 222 yard rushing performance against North
Carolina. The Bulldogs, under new coach Kirby Smart, are 3-0 so far and Chubb has 365 yards rushing and 3 Touchdowns. It remains to be seen whether Chubb is completely back, but we will find out as the season progresses.
7. James Conner – Pittsburgh RB: Initially recruited as a Defensive End prospect, Conner moved to Running Back as a freshman and hasn’t looked back. Conner ran for 799 yards as a freshman in 2013. In 2014, Conner ran for 1,765 yards and an impressive 26 Touchdowns. He was expected to be one of the best Running Backs in 2015, but he was injured in game one. While he was injured, it was discovered that he had cancer. He beat the injury and the cancer at the same time and he’s back in 2016. He has 281 rushing yards in 3 games and 9 receptions for 105 yards.
8. Jabrill Peppers – Michigan Ath: Peppers is one of hte nation’s great football players. He came in during the 2014 season and played Cornerback. He played Defensive Back last year, but also Wide Receiver, Running Back and even Quarterback in the Wildcat formation. This season, Peppers moved to Outside Linebacker. But, he also plays some Running Back. He’s also a top Punt and Kick returner. Peppers could bring back memories of Charles Woodson
9. Greg Ward Jr – Houston QB: Ward was a star the past two seasons, but really became headline news when the Cougars beat the Oklahoma Sooners in game one. Last year, Ward threw for over
2,800 yards and he ran for over 1,000. He was off to the right start in game one with over 320 yards passing and 2 Touchdowns. He missed the teams second game against Lamar, but he was back in game three and he threw for 326 yards and he ran for 73 yards and a couple of Touchdowns.
10. Royce Freeman – Oregon RB: Almost lost out West is Freeman from Oregon. With Christian McCaffrey breaking the 2,000 yard barrier, Freeman’s 1,836 yards and 17 Touchdowns may not seem so impressive. Freeman is 6-0, 230 and a speedster. Over the past two seasons, Freeman has more rushing yards than anybody. This season, Freeman has 325 yards and 4 Touchdowns.