Huge-open area affected by quarterbacks


This story is a part of USA TODAY Sports activities’ 25 days to school soccer countdown.

It is uncommon to have an entire reset of the Heisman Trophy race from one season to the following. However with none of final 12 months’s top-five finishers returning in 2021, the chase for the Heisman is huge open and unpredictable.

Solely as soon as since 2003 has not one of the prime 5 not come again the next 12 months.

That leaves a number of returning quarterbacks and ability gamers within the combine for the 2021 Heisman with no clear favourite heading into the beginning of the common season.

However when doubtful, ask this query: Which quarterback will put up one of the best numbers for the groups pegged to contend for the nationwide championship?

Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

Spencer Rattler and Oklahoma are looking for an eighth consecutive Big 12 title.

Spencer Rattler and Oklahoma are on the lookout for an eighth consecutive Huge 12 title.

After throwing 5 interceptions within the first 4 begins of his redshirt freshman season, Rattler tossed simply two picks in opposition to 15 touchdowns the remainder of the way in which to tempo Oklahoma’s newest Huge 12 championship and blowout of Florida within the Cotton Bowl. His growth and coach Lincoln Riley’s monitor report counsel Rattler would be the newest OU quarterback to make a run on the Heisman. The Sooners open the 12 months ranked No. 3 within the USA TODAY Sports activities AFCA Coaches Ballot and one among two groups to earn first-place votes, becoming a member of No. 1 Alabama.

DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson

It is uncommon for any quarterback to be labeled a Heisman contender with out having spent no less than one full season because the starter, particularly one with simply two profession begins. However these had been some spectacular begins: Uiagalelei went for 781 yards and 4 touchdowns with out an interception in video games in opposition to Boston Faculty and Notre Dame. He appears very ready to step into some giant sneakers as Trevor Lawrence’s successor.

Kedon Slovis, Southern California

Southern California quarterback Kedon Slovis looks to throw  against the Arizona State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Southern California quarterback Kedon Slovis appears to be like to throw in opposition to the Arizona State on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Slovis would be the designated Heisman favourite popping out of the Pac-12 as he heads into his third 12 months because the Trojans’ starter. What are two keys to a profitable candidacy? One might be No. 14 USC’s efforts to develop new contributors at receiver after shedding key items from final season’s rotation. One other is to recover from the hump in opposition to Oregon and win a convention title — six of Slovis’s 16 interceptions in his first two seasons have are available two video games in opposition to the Geese.

Sam Howell, North Carolina

Manufacturing alone will not win Howell the Heisman, although the excessive chance that he throws for 35 or extra touchdowns and contends for the nationwide lead in each main statistical class will make the third-year starter an elite contender. With so many different quarterbacks within the combine, the query for Howell is whether or not No. 9 UNC will take one other step ahead and compete for the playoff. In that case, that mixture might make him the participant to beat.

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JT Daniels, Georgia

Daniels got here into his personal after taking on as No. 5 Georgia’s starter for the ultimate 4 video games of final season. Unsurprisingly, his transfer into the lineup sparked a four-game profitable streak and noticed the Bulldogs’ offense discover a rhythm and an explosiveness largely lacking all through coach Kirby Sensible’s tenure. With Georgia as Alabama’s greatest risk within the SEC, Daniels may have many alternatives to make his Heisman case.

Breece Corridor, Iowa State

Probably the most completed again within the nation, Corridor led the FBS in carries (279) and yards (1,572) and completed second in dashing touchdowns (21) in the course of the pandemic season. Now extra of a family title, Corridor may have an excellent case for being voted as a Heisman finalist if No. 8 Iowa State beats OU, wins the Huge 12 and finishes within the prime 4.

Bijan Robinson, Texas

Robinson exploded within the final month of his true freshman season because the centerpiece of the Longhorns’ offense, working for 542 yards (11.1 yards per carry) and 4 touchdowns. The possibility to get extra touches as a sophomore and be a part of new Texas coach Steve Sarkisian’s dynamic offensive system makes Robinson a really intriguing contender. Numbers apart, there’s the query of whether or not UT might be sufficient of a convention or nationwide issue to place Robinson on the Heisman map.

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Ridder would be the most high-profile ability participant within the Group 5 subsequent season after averaging greater than three touchdowns per recreation in main No. 10 Cincinnati to the Peach Bowl. As soon as once more, the Bearcats are seen because the staff to beat within the American and even a professional contender for the nationwide semifinals. Ridder and Cincinnati may have two main alternatives to make noise: at Indiana on Sept. 18 and at Notre Dame on Oct. 2. What would a win in South Bend do for Ridder’s status?

Bryce Younger, Alabama

Any questions over whether or not Younger might slide seamlessly into the beginning lineup have been answered throughout his spectacular offseason. All of the expertise is there for the previous five-star recruit to make a run on the postseason {hardware}, however there’s additionally his lack of expertise and a few lingering questions on how properly Alabama will reload at each place group on offense. Even nonetheless, the baseline for Younger is to contend for all-conference honors and for the Tide to win the SEC and attain the playoff.

Comply with faculties reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Faculty soccer: Preseason predictions for Heisman dominated by QBs



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