For the last two years, Baker Mayfield has been on the Heisman watch list. This year could be it. He is in second place for the Heisman watch as of today and has a good chance of being in that top spot when the award is given.”His is a very bright talent and has that swagger and leads his team well” said Scott Albertini(‘19). Baker is on pace to pass his career best in passing yards and touchdowns. He has a higher completion percentage than his previous 3 years. With only one loss on the season to Iowa State, Baker has been put to the test with big wins that include beating Ohio State at Ohio State, and a back in fourth game with rival Oklahoma State. Mayfield is a top five quarterback draft prospect and is a highly respect college football quarterback.
For the first 9 weeks of the season, Saquon Barkley was a clear Heisman favorite. So far, he has recorded 1,368 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving). 864 of those were on the ground, making Barkley a leading rusher in the esteemed Big Ten conference. However, Barkley’s numbers aren’t the only reason for his Heisman campaign. Even in recent losses to Ohio State and Michigan, Barkley was a force for the Nittany Lions. Aside from scoring a touchdown on the ground, Barkley also took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown in Ohio State’s renowned “The Shoe”, a stadium notorious among NCAA football. Overall, Barkley is one of the NCAA’s best running backs and a true difference maker on the gridiron, driving a compelling campaign for the 2017 Heisman trophy.
Projected 1st overall NFL draft pick Mason Rudolph also has his eyes on the Heisman trophy. Standing at 6’5 and 230 lbs, Oklahoma State’s pro style passer has already recorded 3,314 yards and 27 passing touchdowns this season. With a QB rating north of 170, Rudolph has led his team to a 7-2 record so far, with only 2 close losses in a tough conference. Mason Rudolph’s size and playing style leads NFL scouts to believe he will encounter great success playing professional football. As a passer, he is feared by defenses across the Big 12 as well as the rest of the FBS, making a strong argument for the 2017 Heisman.
Bryce Love is another player who's on the Heisman watch list. The running back from Stanford who shadowed Christian Mccaffrey for two years is having a breakout season at running back with 1456 rushing yards. That is more than 2016 and 2015’s total combined.
One of the lesser mentioned Heisman candidates this season is Khalil Tate. Up until Week 5 of the college football season, Arizona’s now star quarterback had only 9 passing attempts, with no touchdowns and only 127 total yards. However, when he was called on for the Week 6 start, Khalil Tate shocked the nation with 154 passing yards and 327 rushing yards, scoring a total of 5 touchdowns and finishing the game with a QBR of 217. Since then, Tate has not let anyone down, with 17 total touchdowns and a fitting 2017 total yards, making him a rags to riches 2017 Heisman top candidate.
Our prediction for 2017 Heisman is Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield. Aside from his top notch passing and rushing skills, Mayfield is a game changer as well as personality and a name frequently brought up at any mention of college football. Mayfield has defined college football this year, his attitude drawing almost as much attention as his skill. This notoriety is what leads us to the conclusion that Baker Mayfield will be the Heisman trophy winner this season.