2019 Heisman Trophy Predictions with Odds and Expert Analysis
Signing day is over. Both of them. Most of the coaching changes have been. All the deck chairs have been shuffled. It's time to put college football to bed for a while before we turn our attention to next season. Before we do, though, let's take a moment to look at the Heisman future odds as they currently exist. This is a good time to take a look for one simple reason - no one else is. We can look at relatively untouched numbers to see if there is anything interesting before the hype ratchets up about 40 notches in late August. Here's how the odds break down at Bovada :
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Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (+200): The last time we saw Lawrence, he was doing truly ridiculous things on the biggest stage in college football. And he was only a freshman at the time. An extra year of experience should only help him as the game slows down, and he certainly still has plenty of talent around him. It's hard to argue with him as the favorite. I'm not sure that he is enough of a favorite to justify this price - because no one is at this time of the year. The Heisman race is not one for favorites.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (+500): Tagovailoa seemed destined to win the Heisman through 11 games last year. But then he lost it in the 12th with a subpar performance. And he was a long way from impressive in the national title game. He has faced the first adversity he has faced - probably ever. And the Alabama coaching staff has gone through a stunning amount of change. We'll find out just how good Tua is this year. It's hard not to be at least a little optimistic, but I'm not interested in locking in at this price at this point.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (+700): Tua's backup heads to the Heisman factory in Oklahoma, and it makes for a very interesting situation. Hurts couldn't hold off Tagovailoa for the starting job, but he has had more than his share of success on the biggest of stages at Alabama. And Lincoln Riley has only coached the last two Heisman winners, so the system obviously works and obviously can integrated talented new starters quickly. I find this price quite interesting. The biggest challenge, though, is that voters are likely to be a little tired of voting for Oklahoma starters, so Hurts will have to overcome that.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (+900): Fields transferred to Ohio State and is now immediately eligible. The Buckeyes are going through a significant coaching change, though, and that could impact the team. And though Fields is only a year removed from being the top overall recruit in the country, he didn't beat out Jake Fromm last year at Georgia, and he has thrown only 39 times and carried 42 more. I'm cautiously pessimistic about this situation in the short term - but then I hate the Buckeyes.
Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia (+1400): I'll be up front here. I'm just not a Fromm guy. He's solid, but I just don't believe that he is as good as the best when it matters. He's not a guy I want to go into battle with, so I'm not betting him.
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (+1800): This one is interesting. Herbert would have had a good chance of being the first QB drafted this year but opted for another year in college. He's wildly talented, but Oregon is not the most talented team or one with the most stable coaching. The upside is definitely there, and his experience will help him. But he won't get enough eyes on him often enough playing on the West Coast, and I am far from convinced that the Ducks will be particularly relevant nationally. I'm optimistic about his pro prospects but not his Heisman chances.
Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan (+2200): This is a very interesting possibility at this price if you are looking for a longer shot. Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State was a star in the Big Ten last year and could be the top QB drafted this year. But Pro Football Focus was one of the sites that grade Patterson higher than Haskins this past season. Patterson was playing in a painfully uncreative offense that refused to look for big plays, but the offensive coaching staff has been changed and the new offensive coordinator, coming from Alabama, is much more creative and aggressive. Patterson is a very talented senior, and in a better system he could really shine. There is value here.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama (+3000): It's telling that there are nine quarterbacks and two running backs on the list before we get to our first receiver. And Jeudy has the issue that the better his numbers are, the better Tagovailoa's are - and the QB is higher profile in this race. But Jeudy is a freakish talent perfectly suited for his system, and he could put up some record-breaking numbers. He'll have to put up crazy numbers, but if he does, he could provide some value at this price.
A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College (+7500): If I was looking for a real long shot, this would be it. He had almost 1,600 yards as a freshman and more than 1,100 in just 10 games last year while dealing with injuries. He's very talented, and is essentially the Eagles' offense, so he won't have to share the spotlight at all. The problem obviously is that the spotlight on Boston College isn't bright. But if he puts up huge numbers and the QBs falter - or at least cluster - then he could come up the middle. He'll have to lead the country to pull it off, so it isn't likely, but the price feels more than fair.
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