Top 15 Heisman Candidates for 2016

It’s never too early to speculate about the 2016 season, even though its start is more than six months away.
Coforepr  takes a look at the Heisman Trophy race, ranking the top 15 candidates.  (“Candidates” seems to be an appropriate word in this election year, right?)

15)   Joshua Dobbs           Tennessee              QB
.       He’s completed over 60% of his passes in his three years in Knoxville, but more impressive
.       is the way he’s cut down on interceptions.  Over his first two seasons Dobbs threw one pick in
.       every 25 pass attempts.  In 2015, his third season, it was one interception in every
.       69 attempts.

14)  Calvin Ridley             Alabama                 WR
.       As a true freshman Ridley caught 89 passes for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns for the
.       national champions.  He’s the only receiver on this list.

13)   Josh Rosen                 U.C.L.A.                   QB
.       Here’s another true freshman who put up impressive numbers.  Rosen averaged 282
.       passing yards per game.

12)  Samaje Perine           Oklahoma               RB
.      Despite sharing time with Joe Mixon, Perine ran for 1,349 yards and 16 touchdowns.  He had
.      over 130 yards rushing in each of the Sooners’ three big November games:  Baylor, T.C.U. and
.      Oklahoma State.

11)  DeShone Kizer          Notre Dame            QB
.      He plays the highest profile position at a high profile school.  One question:  Can he keep the
.      starting job that Malik Zaire will try to win back?

10)  Seth Russell                Baylor                     QB
.      In seven games before his season-ending neck injury:  29 touchdown passes and over 2,100
.      yards.  Russell also ran for 402 yards and another six scores.  Like Kizer, he’ll get a challenge
.      from within for the job.  Think Jarrett Stidham.

9)   Chad Kelly                   Mississippi              QB
.      His last four games came against tough competition  –  bowl teams Arkansas, Louisiana State,
.     Mississippi State and Oklahoma State.  In those contests Kelly threw 11 touchdown passes with
.     only one interception.

8)   Royce Freeman            Oregon                   RB
.     Impressive numbers:  1,836 yards rushing, 17 touchdowns, 6.5 yards per carry.

7)   Nick Chubb                   Georgia                  RB
.      In five games before injuring his knee early in the Tennessee game, Chubb accumulated 745
.      yards on 91 carries for a scintillating average of 8.2 yards per carry.  If he can stay healthy for
.     the whole 2016 season…

6)   J.T.Barrett                    Ohio State               QB
.     The offense will be his and his alone.  Lest we forget, Barrett finished 5th in the 2014 Heisman
.     balloting.

5)   Dalvin Cook                 Florida State           RB
.     He racked up almost 1,700 yards on the ground despite limiting injuries.  Cook had 13 carries
.     of 30 yards or more.

4)   Baker Mayfield           Oklahoma                QB
.     A second Sooner on this list?  Absolutely!  Mayfield threw 35 touchdown passes in 2015 against
.     only 5 interceptions.

3)   Christian McCaffrey      Stanford                RB
.     He broke the FBS single-season record for all-purpose yards with 3,864 in 14 games.  That’s an
.     average of 276 yards per game!  McCaffrey finished second in the 2015 Heisman voting.

2)   Leonard Fournette     Louisiana State       RB
.     He led the nation in rushing with 162.8 yards per game, almost 15 yards per game more than
.     Derrick Henry, who was second.

1)   DeShaun Watson           Clemson                 QB
.     Big time players step up in the big games.  In the two College Football Playoff games in which
.     Clemson participated, Watson averaged 296 yards passing and 109 yards rushing!  He threw
.     four touchdown passes against national champion Alabama’s stingy defense.
.     Watson’s the favorite, and there’s no doubt he’ll lead a prolific offense in 2016.  The only thing
.     that could derail his candidacy is three or more losses by the Tigers, who will field a rebuilt
.     defense.

For those who like dark horses and long shots, coforepr will offer three.
In alphabetical order…
*  Myles Garrett                    Texas A&M             DE
.   If we knew a strictly defensive player was going to win a Heisman for the first time ever, this
.   sack machine would be the best bet.
*  Brad Kaaya                        Miami (Fla.)            QB
.   He’ll fit perfectly with new coach Mark Richt’s pro-style offense.  Kaaya:  “I couldn’t have asked
.   for a better scenario to finish my last two years of college.”
*  Greg Ward Jr.                      Houston                QB
.   He completed over 68% of his passes in 2015.
.   A grand performance in a season-opener at NRG Stadium in Houston against Oklahoma would
.   be a fantastic kick-start to his candidacy.




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