Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Lamar Jackson – Louisville Cardinals (QB)
Lamar Jackson just isn’t fair. It’s one thing to put up over 60 points against Charlotte and Syracuse, but to replicate that against Florida State is a completely different story. Not only did Louisville dismantle Florida State, but I’m not even sure if they were trying. Jackson seemingly jogged past defenders on his way to four total touchdowns, to bring his total to 18 for the season, tied for the most in the FBS. We are only a few weeks into the season, but this is Jackson’s award to lose. He is the clear frontrunner after taking down what was the #2 team in the nation, and he should dominate yet again this week against Marshall.
Christian McCaffery – Stanford Cardinals (RB)
I am going to make this simple. Christian McCaffery is really good at football. He did it all this weekend against USC. He rushed for 126 yards and one score, while also hauling in three passes for 66 yards, and another touchdown. Through his first two games he is on pace for a 2,000-yard rushing season once again, but only if he plays 14 games. Even though he has some catching up to do against Lamar Jackson, he is easily my second choice for the Heisman trophy.
| Rising Fast
J.T. Barrett – Ohio State Buckeyes (QB)
J. T Barrett was extremely efficient in Ohio State’s 45-24 drubbing of the Oklahoma Sooners last Saturday. Despite throwing only 20 passes, he completed 14 of them for 152 yards and four touchdowns. But, this is not something out of the ordinary for him either. Barrett has led an efficient offense all season long, averaging 7.3 passing attempts per touchdown, good for second in the FBS. Barrett ranks 4th in the nation in total touchdowns at 13, and I expect him to add to that total this weekend when he takes on Rutgers. I’m not expecting a huge passing performance, but his ability as a dual-threat QB should tear the Rutgers defense to shreds.
Donnel Pumphrey – San Diego State
Donnel Pumphrey has taken the nation by storm. He is coming off back-to-back 200 yard games, and he now has 599 rushing yards this season, and the next closest running back has just 439 yards. If he stays on this ludicrous pace of 200 yards per game, he will smash the current seasonal rushing record if he can play 14 games. San Diego State doesn’t rank highly when it comes to strength of schedule, but if Pumphrey can keep up this pace he will be in the Heisman talk week in and week out.
| Falling Fast
Leonard Fournette – LSU Tigers (RB)
Leonard Fournette is racking up yards with over 100 yards in both of his games this season, but I’m not that impressed. He is averaging an entire yard less per carry than last year, and I haven’t seen that big-play capability that came at ease last year. Yeah, I may be overreacting just a little bit, but Fournette simply doesn’t remind me of the player he was at the beginning of last season. Fournette and the Tigers take on Auburn this weekend, so let’s see if Fournette can replicate his 228 yard, three touchdown performance that we saw last year against this Auburn squad.
| Honorable Mention
Patrick Mahomes II – Texas Tech Red Raiders (QB)
Patrick Mahomes and Texas Tech haven’t had the hardest schedule by any means, but he is simply obliterating defenses. Even with a lack of competition, his numbers are simply jaw-dropping. He is tied for the FBS lead in total touchdowns at 18, tied with none other than Lamar Jackson. He also has thrown for 1,493 yards, and 14 scores, both of which rank first in the FBS. But he is also efficient in how he goes about his business; he ranks second in yard per attempt at 11.3 yards, and eighth in completion percentage at 71.2%. Mahomes has led Texas Tech to the second highest scoring offense in the nation at 61 points per game, and the best passing offense by far with 547.7 passing yards per contest. The cakewalk schedule continues this Saturday, taking on the Kansas Jayhawks, who are arguably the worst power five team this season.