4 Early Good Bets To Win 2022 Heisman Trophy
The college football offseason is still very much in flux, since a lot of transfers at high-profile positions (quarterback, wide receiver) have not yet made choices about their landing spots for the coming season. To that extent, it is still hard to judge who is in the best position to win the Heisman Trophy, but we’ll take a stab at some logical, reasonable guesses.
Bryce Young, Alabama
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner didn’t really play all that great this past season. He was very, very good, but not necessarily great. Alabama’s offense legitimately struggled against LSU and was terrible against Auburn. The Tide labored in the second half against Florida and were less than spectacular against Cincinnati and Georgia in the College Football Playoff. Bryce Young can play better than he did in 2021 … and if he does, he might win back-to-back awards. It’s very possible, especially since many people think Alabama is going to be a lot better in 2022 compared to 2021, which is a scary thought for the Crimson Tide’s opponents.
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
The Heisman finalist in 2021 lit up Utah in the Rose Bowl, leading Ohio State to a 48-point explosion. Stroud made NFL-level throws in that game, and it’s impossible to ignore that he will be a leading Heisman threat once again, especially if Ohio State beats Michigan and avenges its 2021 loss to Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Stroud might not have led Ohio State to a Big Ten championship in 2021, and much like Bryce Young, there is a higher level for him to reach, but if he does reach that exalted standard of play, he will certainly be in the 2022 Heisman hunt until the bitter end.
Braelon Allen, Wisconsin
The Badgers’ elite running back will be just 18 years old when the 2022 season begins, but Allen showed in his freshman season that he has an NFL body and can display the mixture of power and speed all great running backs have. Allen is a beast between the tackles. He will get the tough yard on third and one. He will bounce off the first tackler and lean forward after the point of contact to get extra yards in tight spaces. He can also get to the outside and turn on the jets for breakaway runs. Once he gets into the open field, he outruns safeties if he has the right straight-line path.
Keep in mind that Allen’s body has not yet fully filled out. He’s still just a teenager. If Wisconsin’s offense improves its passing game – it struggled in 2021 – the Badgers will be able to unleash Allen in ways which defenses will not be fully prepared for. This is the running back with the best chance of making a run at the Heisman next season.
Caleb Williams, school unknown
The former Oklahoma quarterback is believed to be the favorite for USC as a transfer portal destination. Williams would rejoin former OU coach Lincoln Riley with the Trojans. If that does in fact happen, it naturally sets up Williams for a huge year. USC quarterbacks have won the Heisman multiple times. USC is a high-profile glamor program where high-level success leads to Heisman glory. See Carson Palmer in 2002 and Matt Leinart in 2004. If Caleb Williams goes to USC, he will have the coach, the offense, the publicity, and the overall situation in which he can post huge numbers. Even if he doesn’t go to USC, Williams will land at a program – maybe LSU, maybe Georgia, maybe Texas A&M – which will enable him to make the College Football Playoff and become a central Heisman threat.