Every season we have a group of guys that become the favorites for the Heisman Trophy around this time. This time around, Lamar Jackson, Saquan Barkley, Derrius Guice, and Sam Darnold have been mentioned. While these four players will very much be in the discussion, the favorites in the preseason rarely win it.
So, here are my two dark horse candidates to take home the Heisman:
WR James Washington, Oklahoma State:
Last season, we had Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook in the Heisman finalists, who scored 17 touchdowns on 1,625 yards from scrimmage. It was a surprise that we seen these numbers from Dede accumulate so fast. Explosion and offensive scheme are two of the biggest attributes a WR could want trying to win a Heisman. Guess what, the Cowboys will air it out and Washington will be the top target.
OSU returns star QB Mason Rudolph to fuel the passing attack. Oklahoma State also return 1,000-yard rusher Justice Hill, so the running game will keep defenses honest. Washington scored ten touchdowns on 1,408 total yards from scrimmage last season, but only on 71 receptions. Explosive plays will be a big part of Washington’s game, so don’t be shocked if he takes a bunch of 70-yard touchdowns to the house.
Oklahoma State also plays in the worst conference of the power five. I think Oklahoma State will win the Big 12, putting them in a position to make a playoff push. If OSU wins the Big 12 and Washington balls out, he will certainly be in the discussion.
RB Benny Snell, Kentucky:
This season, I think Kentucky could be a contender in the SEC East. Big Blue Nation’s success starts with sophomore RB Benny Snell, who rushed for over 1,130 yards and 13 touchdowns on 6 yards per carry as a true freshman. True freshman running backs rarely start, never mind putting up those numbers. Kentucky also returns star QB Stephen Johnson, so the chemistry will not be affected.
The SEC will be a QB dominated conference this season, but people forget the RB’s. The favorite to win the Heisman in the SEC is LSU RB Derrius Guice, but do NOT be shocked if Snell puts up the same numbers as Guice.
Like I mentioned, the favorites early in the season rarely win the award. Snell & Washington will be ready to rise up and jump into the conversation.