Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Lamar Jackson-Louisville Cardinals (QB)
Lamar Jackson is better than entire college offenses at this point in this season. No, really. He has racked up an insane 1,015 yards of total offense through just two games, and that ranks him 30th out of all teams in the FBS. Among individual players, Jackson ranks eighth in passing yards, and third in rushing yards, and that solidifies him atop my Heisman list thus far in the season. He also had a pretty sweet touchdown against Syracuse where he completely cleared a Cuse defender enroute to a 10-yard touchdown scamper. Jackson has taken college football by storm in 2016, but he faces his first real test this Saturday when he takes on the Florida State Seminoles.
Deondre Francois- Florida State Seminoles (QB)
Deondre Francois just keeps on improving. He threw for 262 yards, and three scores against a depleted Charleston Southern squad this past weekend. While that may not seem impressive, it is good to see a young quarterback take care of business, even against FCS opponents. He has a much harder team to face this weekend in #10 Louisville, but the Cardinal defense is nothing to fear. Francois should be called upon early and often in what I expect to be a shootout, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the spotlight yet again this weekend.
Middle of the Pack
Christian McCaffrey- Stanford Cardinals (RB)
There is not much to say here. Christian McCaffery and the Stanford Cardinals got the week off, so his Heisman stock is about the same this week. He is an elite running back, and he should torment the USC Trojans all game long. With two weeks of preparation for this game, the Cardinals should come out fresh, and full of energy in what could turn out to be a blowout if the Trojans fail to contain McCaffery.
J.T Barrett- Ohio State Buckeyes (QB)
Ohio State cruised to another easy victory this weekend, and J.T Barrett did not have many opportunities through the air as it was pouring down rain during the game. He still displayed his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback with two scores on the ground. Ohio State has a huge game on Saturday, and it will be Barrett’s first test, so this game will impact his Heisman stock dramatically.
Leonard Fournette- LSU Tigers (RB)
Injuries make me nervous, especially lower body injuries for running backs. Fournette sat out last week, but it was probably just a precaution as Jacksonville State isn’t the most menacing opponent on LSU’s schedule. Outside of his injury, LSU’s overall performance makes me wonder if Fournette can really make a run for the Heisman this year. LSU was only up 13-10 in the closing moments of the first half against Jacksonville State before they went on a 21-3 run to close out the game. When you look at the recent Heisman winners, most of them were a part of a team contending for a National Championship, and I do not see LSU as anything close to a championship team at this point in the season.
Dalvin Cook- Florida State Seminoles (RB)
Dalvin Cook’s Heisman stock is plummeting, but I can’t say that it’s his fault. Cook has performed well in both games this season, and most recently he picked up 83 yards on just 11 carries, scoring two touchdowns in the process. His stock is falling mainly due to his breakout quarterback, Deondre Francois. The Seminoles no longer need Cook to carry the team to victory week in and week out, and they are relying more on their stud QB. Cook may still have an admirable season, and I expect him to, but Francois seems to be the more likely candidate from FSU to take home the Heisman trophy this season.
Deshaun Watson- Clemson Tigers (QB)
What is wrong with Clemson? They scraped out an ugly victory against Auburn in week one, and then the Troy Trojans came into Clemson and gave them all they could handle in a 30-24 win for the Tigers. Watson had been pitiful also. He is completing just 52.9% of his passes with four touchdowns and three picks. Luckily, they still have a few more games before they face the Louisville Cardinals on October 1st. Clemson takes on South Carolina State this weekend, and if I see anything besides a beat down, Deshaun Watson will be off my Heisman radar until further notice.