Sports fans are anxious as football season is now upon us. The NFL preseason has gotten an unfortunate late start, and college football season is only a few weeks away. As the season gets ready to kick off, the biggest question for NCAA football is, who will win the Heisman? This award is sometimes unpredictable, but I thought I would take a shot at it anyway listing my top 5 predictions to win the award.
Sleeper Pick: Deebo Samuel WR – University of South Carolina
There may be a little bit of biased in this prediction but for good reason. Samuel’s playing time last year was limited and The Gamecocks may have had a disappointing season last year, and we all know the Heisman trophy relies heavily on wins but hear me out. It is only a matter of time before Deebo Samuel breaks loose in the SEC and makes a huge impact. Coach Muschamp, just during the off season has already turned the atmosphere around at the University of South Carolina. Deebo is a 6’0, over 200lb receiver who showed in the last game of the season against the Clemson Tigers that he can really ball against the best of the best.
5. Brad Kaaya QB – University of Miami
Last year, many argued that Kaaya may be the best quarterback in the ACC, even over Deshaun Watson. Not much to my surprise, Watson cleared those thoughts up quickly has he won the battle against Miami in 2015, but nonetheless Brad Kaaya can still ball. Kaaya ended the 2015 season with a QB rating of 141.1, over 3,000 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. His touchdowns and QB rating had a slight drop off from 2014, but he became a more accurate thrower and better decision maker, allowing him to rank amongst the best quarterback in the NCAA.
4. Dalvin Cook RB – Florida State University
Dalvin Cook has been a huge playmaker for Florida State ever since his freshman year. When discussing the top RB in the NCAA, you have to mention his name amongst them all. Dalvin Cook had a monster Sophomore year, racking in nearly 1,700 yards, 19 touchdowns, and averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Dalvin Cook can also catch well out of the back field and will make plays when the ball touches his hands. Cook continues to get better and better as years go by and his experience will take him a long way. Pending a good season from FSU, it would not be a surprise to see Dalvin Cook take home a Heisman trophy.
3. Leonard Fournette RB – Louisiana State University
Like Cook, Fournette has been a force straight out of high school. He has been on my Heisman watch since his first game as a tiger. Leonard Fournette is a one man wrecking crew. Like I stated earlier, team success is huge for a player to take home the Heisman trophy, which I believe is why Fournette hasn’t taken home the title yet. Fournette has the weight of the world on his shoulders and is carrying it with ease. Fournette had nearly 2,000 yards in 2015 and 22 touchdowns. 2016 may be the year for Fournette to break loose and grab the Heisman trophy.
2. Christian McCaffrey RB – Stanford University
McCaffrey shocked the world last year as a sophomore, making a huge splash in the NCAA. Christian McCaffrey is a player who can do it all. He can take a handoff the distance, split out as a receiver, and take one to the crib as a returner. Christian McCaffrey last year was my pick to win the Heisman out of the finalist, which I still think he deserved, but luckily he still has more college football in him to grab the title. McCaffrey rushed for over 2,000 yards and had 3,252 all purpose yards, breaking Barry Sanders record that was thought to be one of those unbreakable records. McCaffrey reminds me a lot of Darren McFadden back in Arkansas. I would love to see Christian come out with a Heisman trophy.
1. Deshaun Watson QB – Clemson University
This pick is an easy one and common one for all the right reasons. Deshaun Watson impresses continuously throughout his collegiate career. Deshaun Watson has arguably been the best player in the country since last season. Watson lead the Clemson tigers to an undefeated regular season, number one ranking, and a chance to play in the national championship. Despite losing in the Natty Bowl, Watson played phenomenal with 405 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and a 65% completion percentage. There were questions about how Watson could perform under that type of pressure against the one of the best, and he played lights out to prove that he could play way above average. Expect to see Deshaun Watson back in New York with the Heisman finalists this season.