June 19, 2024
Ohio State Buckeyes Football

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud throws the ball during a timeout in the fourth quarter against Iowa Saturday October 22, 2022 at Ohio Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

The battle for College football’s most prestigious award is narrowing down.

With marquee games still on the slate, and three weeks left in the season, anything can happen. These 10 individuals are all having stellar campaigns, and their respective teams are in position to play for a conference title. With every victory their names get more consideration.

And now it’s really time for them to deliver some memorable performances on the biggest stages.

10. Chase Brown, RB, Illinois: The Canadian still leads the nation in carries and rushing yards. Brown is extremely consistent, and averages a jaw-dropping, 144.2 yards per game. He has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in nine of Illinois’ 10 games this year. Not to mention Brown only needs 256 yards on the ground to break the program’s single-season record. However, the Fighting Illini have lost two-straight games, and no longer control their own destiny in terms of clinching the West. The fact that Illinois is limping towards the finish line, has hurt Brown’s chances. Brown got banged up in the loss to Purdue, but Coach Bret Bielema is optimistic he’ll be ready for Michigan. If the Fighting Illini can somehow pull off the upset at the Big House behind Brown’s legs, he’ll definitely be back in the conversation.

9. Bo Nix, QB, Oregon: Life after the SEC has been pretty good for the Alabama native. Nix has made a name for himself in the Pac-12, and been putting up video game numbers all season. He’s currently third in the Pac-12 and 16th in the FBS in passing yards. The former five-star prospect leads the league with 14 touchdowns on the ground. Nix is also first in the conference and fifth in the country in passing efficiency. The former Auburn Tiger scored three total touchdowns in last week’s loss to Washington. Nix threw for five touchdowns apiece in victories over Eastern Washington and UCLA. His 428 passing yards against Washington State were a season-high. Not to mention Nix is a big reason why Oregon’s offense is averaging 528.2 yards per game, which is second-best in the nation.

8. Kendre Miller, RB, TCU: The former three-star prospect leads the Big 12 with 13 rushing touchdowns. Miller is second in the league in rushing yards per game. Not to mention he’s the Horned Frogs first 1,000-yard rusher since 2016. He has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season. Miller has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in seven games this fall, including the last five. His 6.59 yards per carry ranks ninth in the FBS. The Texas native had a season-high, 29 carries against Kansas State. Miller also rumbled for 158 yards on the ground against Texas Tech, which were also a season-high. He’s a big reason why TCU leads the Big 12 in total offense, and is very balanced. Miller is durable and productive, so his numbers are going to increase. And the games are only going to get bigger for TCU.

7. Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee: The former four-star prospect is College football’s most lethal offensive weapon. Hyatt has been turning heads all season with his athleticism and acrobatic catches in the almighty SEC. He leads the entire FBS with a jaw-dropping, 15 touchdown catches. The South Carolina native is second in the country in receiving yards per game. Although Hyatt only stands six-foot and weighs 185 pounds, he has the speed to stretch the field, which is why he’s third in the SEC in yards per catch. The 21-year old had his coming out party in the win over Alabama, with 206 receiving yards. It was also a season-high. Hyatt has 1,116 receiving yards this fall, and needs 183 more to break the Volunteers’ single-season record. There’s no denying he makes Hendon Hooker’s job easier.

6. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina: The former four-star prospect has set the ACC on fire as a redshirt freshman, and deserves more recognition. At this point Maye has probably made Tar Heel fans forget about Sam Howell. After all, he helped North Carolina clinch its’ second-ever berth in the ACC Championship Game. Not only is Maye tied for first in the country with a jaw-dropping, 34 touchdown tosses, he also leads the ACC in passing yards. The  only need 336 passing yards to break Mitch Trubisky’s single-season record. Not to mention Maye needs five touchdown tosses to break Howell’s single-season record. The Charlotte native is having a season for the ages. No doubt the more the Tar Heels keep winning, the deeper Maye’s name will be in the Heisman discussion, especially  if they win the ACC.

5. Caleb Williams, QB, USC: The Washington D.C. native is doing what all great Trojan gunslingers do, which is have his team in contention for a Pac-12 Title. No doubt Williams has made himself a household name in the Pac-12. After all he has USC 9-1 this season and ranked seventh in the AP Poll. Not to mention he leads the conference and is tied for third in the FBS with 31 touchdown passes. Williams is second in the league and eighth in the country in passing efficiency. It’s no mystery he’s the main reason why the Trojans are averaging 42.4 points per game, which is numero uno in the Pac-12 and third in nation. It’s mind-blowing that Williams only needs nine more touchdown passes to break USC’s single-season record. If USC beats UCLA and wins the Pac-12, Williams will have an invite to New York.

4. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan: The Baltimore native is tied for second in the nation with 17 rushing touchdowns. Corum has done more than just carry the torch from Hassan Haskins. He’s third in the country with 1,349 rushing yards, and needs 469 more to break the Wolverines’ single-season record. Not to mention Corum is the main reason why Michigan leads the Big Ten and is fourth in the FBS in rushing offense. Jim Harbaugh uses Corum as a battering ram behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. Corum has at least one rushing touchdown in every game this season. He had a season-high, 33 carries against Michigan State and 243 rushing yards against Maryland. Courm finished with five touchdowns on the ground against Connecticut, which were also a season-high. He’s the real deal.

3. Max Duggan, QB, TCU: The former four-star prospect is having a remarkable campaign this fall, and it keeps getting better with every game. Duggan leads the Big 12 and is tied for the 10th in the country with 25 touchdown passes. The Council Bluffs native is No. 1 in the conference and sixth in the FBS in passing efficiency. Duggan only needs nine more touchdown tosses to break the Horned Frogs’ single-season record. His experience, leadership and production is the main reason why TCU leads Big 12 in total and scoring offense. The Horned Frogs’ 40.4 points per game is also eighth-best in the nation. With every victory that Duggan leads his team to, his name goes deeper in the Heisman discussion. It helps Duggan’s cause that the Horned Frogs are No. 4 in both the AP Poll and Playoff rankings.

2. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee: The North Carolina native has put together a season to remember with his heroics on the gridiron. Hooker is the main reason why the Volunteers are averaging 47.4 points per game, which is the best in the nation. Tennessee leads the entire FBS in total offense, averaging 543.7 yards per contest. He’s second in the SEC with 24 touchdown tosses, and has only been picked off twice. Not to mention Hooker leads the conference and is second in the FBS in passing efficiency. The former Virginia Tech Hokie needs 13 more touchdown passes to break Peyton Manning’s single-season record, and has at least three games to do it. Hooker is very capable of accomplishing that feat with Hyatt in his arsenal. It helps that the Volunteers are the highest-ranked one-loss team in the country.

1. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State: The All-American gunslinger has played amazing all season. Stroud appears to be well on his way to becoming the Buckeyes’ first Heisman winner since Troy Smith accomplished that feat in 2006. After all, he’s tied for first in the country with 34 touchdown passes. Stroud also leads the FBS in passing efficiency. He’s also the main reason why Ohio State is undefeated and No. 2 in both the AP Poll and Playoff rankings. The Californian has made others around him better, that’s what great signal-callers do. Which is why the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in scoring, passing and total offense. However, Stroud’s chances at winning the Heisman this time around will hinder on how he performs against Michigan. If the Buckeyes get revenge and beat the Wolverines, it’s Stroud’s trophy to lose.