Here we are midway through the college football season and the rumblings have begun: Who's the favorite to take home the most illustrious College Football award? Will this be the second consecutive year where a non-Quarterback wins the Heisman? Who are the dark horse candidates?
Mid-Season Heisman Favorites for 2021
Alabama Quarterback, Bryce Young
Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young is looking to become the third Heisman Trophy winner out of Bama since 2015 (Derrick Henry 2015, Devonta Smith 2021). Young has played nothing short of incredible thus far. Through six games, Young has passed for over 2,000 yards, a staggering 24 touchdown passes to only three interceptions. Additionally, Young ranks top ten in completions (10th), completion percentage(8th), passing yards (7th), passing touchdowns (3rd), and passing efficiency (4th). Most important, Young's impact goes deeper than the stat-sheet. He commands the offense, doesn't put the ball in harm's way, and capitalizes on opponents' mistakes. On top of that, the Crimson Tide are #3 in the AP Poll with a 5-1 record. Bryce Young is undoubtedly the Heisman favorite right now.
Pittsburgh Quarterback Kenny Pickett
rrow. In 2021, it's Kenny Pickett. Pickett has been absolutely ridiculous through the first six games. In 2020 he played nine games and finished with 13 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and 2,408 yards. Through six games in 2021, Pickett has 1,934 yards, 21 touchdowns and only one interception. A complete 180. This isn't a 'most improved player' award, but what Pickett has done cannot be ignored. Pittsburg is 5-1 and atop the ACC Coastal division. With Clemson, Miami, Virginia and UNC still on the schedule, Pickett will have more than enough opportunities to up his stock for the award.
Ole Miss Quarterback Matt Coral
Coming into the season, Ole Miss Quarterback Matt Coral appeared on quite a few Heisman shortlists due to his magical finish to the 2020-2021 season. Thus far, he's not disappointed and should without a doubt considered a Heisman favorite. Coral showcases elite arm strength and ball placement. To add to that, Coral posseses dual-threat traits. Coral's 450 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground give him a different dynamic and add to his Heisman case. Through the air, he's accumulated 1,728 yards, 14 touchdowns to only one interception. With games against two legitimate teams in Texas A&M and Auburn, Coral has plenty of more time to add to his case for the Heisman.
Bijan Robinson RB University of Texas
Bijan Robinson has proven to be the most productive running back in college football. Robinson's unique abilities to run the ball, and catch the ball out the backfield adds more value to his case. Robinson ranks third in the nation in rushing touchdowns and third in rushing yards with 924 yards having only 146 carries (6.3 yards per carry). Additionally, he's added 14 catches for 207 yards and three touchdowns. He's over 1,100 all-purpose yards and has been impressive overall throughout the first seven games. Robinson has every right to be on every Heisman shortlist.
Kenneth Walker RB Michigan State
Kenneth Walker has appeared to be the best running back this season. Walker's smooth running style has been a joy to watch. Walker's 997 rushing yards leads the entire nation, while his 6.56 yards per carry ranks 13th. Additionally, he's tied for fourth in touchdowns with nine. Walker transferred from Wake Forest last season and its clearly paid off, because he's playing for a better team and records matter when it comes to the Heisman. Michigan State currently sits atop the Big10 East. With games against a host of ranked Big10 teams, Walker definitely has his work cut out for him as he makes a late push at the Heisman.
With five games left before teams conference championships and bowl season, each guy on this list has a chance to make a legitimate case at the Heisman. Will it be a quarterback per usual? Will it be the second consecutive season where a non-quarterback takes it home? Only time will tell.