Making college football predictions in July is a dangerous proposition. The Heisman could be even worse. Last year, Kyler Murray came out of relative obscurity to win the award. Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are the clear leaders in the clubhouse. But, could we see someone come out of nowhere to win the award? It’s never too early to discuss our way too early 2019 Heisman rankings.
Will a running back have a seat at the table this season? If so, will Jonathan Taylor continue his success at Wisconsin? In the new world that is college football free agency, will a quarterback transfer such as Jalen Hurts or Justin Fields steal the show? No matter what the answer is, we’ll have plenty of time to debate. Now, let’s get started with our initial Heisman poll for 2019.
As a reminder to our mobile readers to turn your devices for a better reading view.
Note: Tiebreakers were settled by alphabetical order of the players last name.
“Sunshine” burst onto the season in 2018 overcoming Kelly Bryant and eventually Alabama in leading the Tigers to a national championship. With Lawrence and Clemson firmly entrenched atop of college football in 2019, how will they handle the pressure?
Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide were rolling 12 games into the season. Then, he struggled and got injured against Georgia and was relatively ineffective in the championship game against Clemson. In fact, Tagovailoa only threw for six scores against six turnovers in 2018. But, he has one of the best receiving corps in the country returning and the team is unquestionably his in 2019.
With 4,171 rushing yards in two seasons, it’s conceivable that Taylor could break into the top five in career rushing yards by the end of the season. Wisconsin is a bit under the radar in 2019 and the Badgers will be breaking in what will likely be a true freshman quarterback this season. With that being said, still expect Taylor to hover around the 2,000-yard mark once again.
Herbert surprised many by electing to return to Eugene this season. The Ducks bolster the most experienced quarterback in the country and quite possibly the best offensive line. Oregon is a trendy pick for the PAC 12 championship and should be flirting with a top 10 preseason ranking. The opening contest against Auburn could be a season-defining contest.
This ranking could be more around the ability to Lincoln Riley than it is about Hurts’ skill set. But, can the Sooners turn three transfer quarterbacks into three straight Heisman Trophy winners? Hurts downfall has been his inability to get the ball downfield. However, he did show improvement in that area last season and of course, filled in admirably in the SEC championship game. In Oklahoma’s spring game is any indication, the offense may not take any steps back.