Early Contenders For 2015 Heisman Trophy
One of the best debates had in college football every season is deciding who’s going to be out in the front of the pack to win the Heisman Trophy.
Here’s are the top five early Heisman contenders in 2015.
5. Cody Kessler, QB, USC
Cody Kessler might seem like a little bit of a stretch at No. 5, but hear me out. Kessler is returning for his fifth year on a team that reeled in 14 total starters from last season. The expectations are high—not just for the Pac-12, but for a possible playoff push.
If Kessler can spearhead that effort, he’s a front-page quarterback. You can’t buy enough positive exposure in a Heisman race.
In 2014 Kessler tossed 3,826 yards and 39 touchdowns. Media really undersold the fact that Kessler was a top-tier quarterback. With the return of receivers Juju Smith and Steven Mitchell (both of whom had excellent springs), I don’t see a reason to place Kessler outside the top five.
4. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Nick Chubb wore the cape for Georgia last season. It was dooms day with Todd Gurley out, but in swept the freshman Chubb for 1,547 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns. He walked away with SEC Freshman of the Year honors and became the de-facto leader of the Bulldogs for 2015.
Chubb will be an exciting player to watch this season. Everyone will be looking for him to replicate what he did with only eight starts a year ago. As with Kessler, Chubb is beginning this season with a blinding spotlight on him, if for no other reason than to see if he’s really all that.
You think he wants it? Chubb was awarded by coaches with one of the “Coffee County Hustle Awards,” which recognizes players with the most desire during spring practices.
3. Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State
Quarterbacks this and quarterbacks that. Yes, I’ll admit, I would place all three of Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett above Elliot, but that’s not to say this blur of a junior won’t garner substantial noise of his own in 2015.
I say that very confidently because that’s exactly what he did for himself last season—only it passed mostly under the table. Elliot’s 1,878 yards (No. 3 in FBS) and 18 touchdowns (No. 11 in FBS) weren’t necessarily unrecognized, but there were other things to talk about.
Will that again be the case this season? It seems likely, but another season to prove his worth could be what it takes to rightfully drag Elliot over the hump and into the Heisman conversation.
2. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
Tevone Boykin is primed and loaded for a monster 2015 season. The microscopic wrist surgery he had near the end of spring practice isn’t anything to worry about. Let’s focus on the fact that the Horned Frogs return 10 starters from an offense that ranked second nationally in scoring (46.4 points per game).
The fifth-year senior is coming off a stellar 3,901-yard effort last season. Passing the 4,000-yard mark is completely possible, if not likely.
Boykin is another stimulating quarterback playing for an action-packed team. The advantage is natural.
1. Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
Yes, by picking Cardale Jones as the early Heisman favorite, I’m also picking him to be Ohio State’s starting quarterback come this fall. It’s only a justifiable stretch when considering quantity (two other stellar quarterbacks) and not quality (742 yards passing in three starts).
I’ll make it simpler though: Whoever wins the starting job for the Buckeyes is my Heisman front-runner.
Jones plays like he knows he’s the best player on the field, which is incredible considering how little time he actually had to do that.
And who could deny this guy anyway?
Man I wish everyone stop saying I beat a kid in the hospital 91-35…. It was 98-35, had 91 with 1:26 left in the 4th pic.twitter.com/TAJxefv5A4
— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) February 10, 2015
Tyler Fenwick is a college football writer for Fanspeak.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.