Taking a look ahead to the 2018 NCAA college football season. Here are five candidates that could be nominated for the Heisman Trophy. Also, what they have done to make their nomination worthy of this honor.
The first nominee is Stanford Cardinal senior running back Bryce Love. He’s decided to return for his senior season instead of entering the NFL Draft. He was the runner up last year to 2017 Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Last season, Love ran for 2,118 yards and found the end zone 19 times for the Cardinal. In addition, Love won the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and was an unanimous All-American selection. A big play from Love came in the 2017 Alamo Bowl against TCU when he broke away for a 69-yard touchdown.
Last season, Georgia Bulldogs’ quarterback Jake Fromm led his team all the way to the national championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. One of Fromm’s biggest plays came in the title game when he threw an 80-yard touchdown to Mecole Hardman. He threw for 2,615 yards, 24 touchdown passes, and had a 62.5 completion percentage for the Bulldogs. Fromm also earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors, ranked third in the conference in pass efficiency, and took home SEC Freshman of the Week three times.
The third nominee is sophomore running back from the Wisconsin Badgers Jonathan Taylor. Taylor is coming off a monster season as he set a freshman record with 1,977 rushing yards. He finished sixth in the 2017 Heisman trophy voting and was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s best running back. He also won Big Ten Freshman of the Week eight times. One thing that Taylor needs to improve on this upcoming season is limiting fumbles as he had eight in 2017. One big play Taylor had last season came on September 11, 2017 against FAU as he took the ball 64 yards for a touchdown.
Arizona Wildcats junior quarterback Khalil Tate is another nominee. Last season, the dual quarterback had 1,591 yards passing with 14 touchdowns, and completed 62 percent of his throws for the Wildcats. Tate also rushed for 1,411 yards and had 12 touchdowns. One of his biggest games last season came against the Colorado Buffaloes were he had 14 carries for 327 yards. The other big game came against the Purdue Boilermakers where he was 12-for-27 passing for 302 yards and five touchdowns.
The final nominee is sophomore J.K. Dobbins from the Ohio State Buckeyes. Dobbins is coming off a record season as he had 1,400 yards rushing, with seven touchdowns, caught 22 passes for 135 yards, and a touchdown, which set a Buckeyes record for rushing yards. One big play that Dobbins made last season came on October 14, 2017 when he took a hand-off 52 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to help the Buckeyes defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 56-14.
All five of these players are coming off solid seasons. For some of them, it was using their arm to make big plays or maybe finding a hole in the defense to break off a big run for a touchdown. Any one of these five would be a worthy recipient of the 2018 Heisman Trophy.