November is when everything starts to make sense for Heisman voters. Early December (hopefully) is when voters whittle their candidates down to three and decide the order of placement—the numerical placements can be the most stressful part of filling out the ballot.
I will not fill out and submit my ballot until the last scheduled regular season game has been played. Too many great Heisman moments have been missed by voters who turned in their ballots early. I know of several voters who regretted not waiting until the last day to submit their Heisman ballots.
These players have earned tremendous respect from fans and voters. All are worthy of consideration.
Here are my Heisman contenders, in alphabetical order.
Max Duggan, Texas Christian University
Duggan has been overlooked—even to the point of broadcasters mispronouncing his last name—by many so-called experts but that may change this month. This dual-threat quarterback is the heart and soul of TCU. He has been a game-changer in several contests which is all the more shocking when one considers he was not the Horned Frogs’ starter in week 1’s game against Colorado—Chandler Morris was. Psssst…. his name is pronounced Doug-en.
If the Heisman Trophy were an MVP award, Duggan would win it.
Hendon Hooker, University of Tennessee
Hooker has a ridiculous 21-1 TD-INT ratio and a 191.64 quarterback rating. Oh, and he beat Alabama. As of today, he’s likely the favorite (OK, who doesn’t love this guy?) to win the most prestigious award in college football. If he has another spectacular performance at Georgia on Saturday—barring any serious missteps or injury—he can strike the pose.
Right now, it is his to lose.
C.J. Stroud, the Ohio State University
Stroud has been on my ballot twice, albeit not in the No. 1 slot. It would be something special to have him finally move to the top spot but it all hinges on November 26, when his Buckeyes host Michigan. Stroud’s stats are eye-popping: 71.3 percent completion, 29-4 TD-INT ratio and a 200.16 quarterback rating.
If Hooker stumbles and Stroud does Stroud-like things to beat Michigan, he’s a surprise Heisman winner.
Caleb Williams, University of Southern California
Williams is an incredible talent. His arm strength, particularly throwing across his body, is a highlight reel. The problem for him is that USC’s defense is so porous, it detracts from his performances. USC could win the Pac-12 but the Trojans will have to outscore UCLA and Notre Dame to even get to the conference championship.
A lot of dominoes have to fall for him to be on the majority of ballots.
Drake Maye, University of North Carolina
Bryce Young, University of Alabama
Zach Charbonnet, University of California Los Angeles
Charbonnet is currently the third most productive rusher in college football. He averages 7.53 yards a carry, 137.71 yards a game. Think about that. He’s the go-to-guy when you need at least five yards. A true weapon in the backfield, Charbonnet can also play catch—he has hauled in 20 passees for 232 yards.
Charbonnet should be invited to New York City in December. There, I said it.
Blake Corum, University of Michigan
If anyone can steal Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud’s thunder on November 26, it is Corum. This running back has great numbers: 1,078 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. He averages 6.02 yards per carry and 134.75 yards per game. Corum is a wrecking ball and has started to get more attention from the pundits.
Corum needs that Heisman moment to move up.
Bijan Robinson, University of Texas
Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State University