It wasn’t the best week for Clemson’s Heisman candidates. Although they were able to put together an impressive win against then No. 12 Texas A&M in a game where it never really felt like A&M had a chance, their statistical performances will definitely be a slight setback.
Regardless, Clemson remains strong with two early Heisman candidates.
Travis Etienne, Jr., RB, Clemson: Unfortunately for Etienne and his great start to his potential Heisman run, he hit a big roadblock against Texas A&M. The star running back ran for just 53 yards on 16 carries, but was able to salvage his night by catching 4 passes for 52 yards. Being able to total over 100 all-purpose yards was a big save for Etienne, but the back was also out performed by backup running back Lyn-J Dixon. A&M was clearly ready for Etienne as they stacked an 8-man box a lot of time he was on the field. Etienne’s statistics suffered but the team benefited.
Trevor Lawrence, Soph. QB, Clemson: Barely squeaking by Etienne on the list, Lawrence confidently led Clemson to a dominant win against a talented A&M team helped his stock rise, even with the sub par statistical performance. Completing 24 of 35 passes for 268 yards with a touchdown and an interception, Lawrence’s performance definitely doesn’t jump out and impress you but credit has to be given where it’s due. He had some outstanding plays and was able to score another touchdown on the ground. Like Etienne, it is still and uphill battle, but he has the talent to make it happen and put up the numbers that some of the other quarterbacks on this list have been doing.
Tua Tagovailoa, Jr. QB, Alabama: Tagovailoa is having an excellent season through two games and he doesn’t look like he’ll ever slow down. Completing 16 passes in his last game, the Bama QB threw for 227 yards and totaled 4 touchdowns on the day. I probably have him too low still because if he does continue like this, you best believe he’ll be in that top three by the end of the season. Still, Jerry Jeudy just looks much more impressive scoring all 3 of touchdowns through the air. I want to see Tagovailoa play against a top team and how that performance works out before we move him up any further with this Jeudy production.
Joe Burrow, Sr. QB, LSU: Our newest and only addition to the top group, Burrow has been electric within LSU’s revitalized offense. With all of the hype around Burrow last season, I was hesitant to put him on the list last week just because I was not impressed enough yet. He shut me up real, real quick in their battle against then No. 9 ranked Texas and former member of the list Sam Ehlinger. Completing 31 of 39 passes for a monstrous 471 yards and 4 touchdowns, Burrow looked like the best player on the field. With what is in my opinion the third best receiving group in the country led by Justin Jefferson, Burrow has a massive opportunity if he can perform against top teams like this consistently. He has complete 54 of his 66 pass attempts this season, putting him just under 82 percent on the season.
Jonathan Taylor, Jr., RB, Wisconsin: Boy do I love Jonathan Taylor. He is the epitome of consistency and since he has also implemented himself as a threat out of the backfield, the sky’s the limit for Wisco’s dominant back. Running for 102 yards and 3 touchdowns on 19 attempts, Taylor has now run for over 100 yards 20 times in his career. You are actually statistically more likely to see Taylor run for over 200 yards rather than under 100. That is actually wild. Adding another receiving touchdown as well, Taylor now already has 8 total touchdowns this season. Taylor is looking like he can be the guy to bring the Heisman back to the running back position.
Jalen Hurts, Sr., QB, Oklahoma: Oklahoma is becoming Heisman U and Hurts is looking like a strong candidate to help further earn them the title. Completing 14 of 18 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns, it was a short day for Hurts as the team practically solidified victory by the end of the first quarter. With a completion percentage of 82.9, Hurts looks like a completely different QB in the pocket, all the while having a worse receiving group. Hurts is still my far and away favorite but we still have a long season ahead.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Jake Fromm, Georgia
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
Sam Ehlinger, Texas
Justin Fields, Ohio State