College Football Betting: Early Heisman Trophy Look For 2021
The college football season is several months away, but if you want an early read on the Heisman Trophy competitors and who might begin the season at the front of the line, here is a decent guess. Keep in mind that Alabama and Ohio State will have new quarterbacks next season. They are in the mix, but they have not made a strong impression just yet. They could emerge as candidates during the season. These four players below have made a notable impression and will be on the minds of Heisman voters when the season begins. They therefore have a little more leverage in the Heisman discussion.
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Sooners did not have a great offensive line last season. That offensive line got better as the season went along, but its performance was average at best in the early games of the 2020 season. In 2021, Oklahoma is expected to have a much better and more experienced offensive line, which means quarterback Spencer Rattler should have more time to throw and more advantages against Big 12 defenses. Rattler made some youthful mistakes last season, but he grew into the position and won both a Big 12 championship and a Cotton Bowl for head coach Lincoln Riley. Oklahoma will be favored to win the Big 12 again next season, and the Sooners will be a contender for a College Football Playoff spot. If the Sooners do make the playoff, Rattler will very likely be a Heisman Trophy finalist. If things break right for him, he could win the award.
J.T. Daniels, Georgia
The 2020 season was painful for Georgia, but it ended on a high note. The Bulldogs came from behind to beat Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl. J.T. Daniels, a transfer from USC who was injured in the early part of the season and therefore didn’t play, was inserted into the lineup midway through the 2020 campaign, and when he took the field, Georgia’s offense – especially the passing game – improved markedly. Daniels was able to throw the ball down the field, giving the Bulldogs a more vertical dimension and an ability to stretch opposing defenses, which in turn improved the UGA running game. The other big advantage Daniels brought to Georgia’s offense is that his height enabled him to see over defenses, especially defensive linemen. Stetson Bennett, whom Daniels replaced, is very small. He could not see over linemen, and so a lot of his passes were deflected at the line of scrimmage. Daniels did not have this problem. With a full season in 2021, Daniels could make a strong run at the Heisman.
D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson
When Trevor Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19 midway through the 2020 season, Clemson had to turn to Uiagalelei, a freshman, for the regular-season meeting at Notre Dame. Clemson lost, but Uiagalelei played well, leading the Tigers’ offense to 33 points. The defense, however, struggled in a 40-33 loss. Uiagalelei gained valuable experience which should help him easily adjust to the full-time starting role at quarterback in 2021. That experience could be the difference in a Heisman-level season for this five-star recruit.
Chris Olave, Ohio State
This could be the DeVonta Smith of 2021. Wide receivers don’t usually win the Heisman, but after Smith did precisely that for Alabama last year, Olave could become the next elite wide receiver in college football. He won’t have Justin Fields at quarterback, but if Olave carries the Ohio State offense and helps the Buckeyes make the College Football Playoff, he will get strong consideration for the Heisman.