After Leonard Fournette seemed to be the clear-cut winner of the Heisman trophy through the first 10 weeks or so, he has suffered an exponential fall in the past two weeks with underwhelming performances and LSU losses. While he’s still in the conversation (barely) he’s not the one everyone is talking about.
With a great showing against LSU, Derrick Henry emerged as one of the frontrunners for the Heisman – and he solidified his case this past week with another good game against Mississippi State. As Clemson’s leader, Deshaun Watson is right there in the thick of things. Ezekiel Elliott is Mr. Consistency and is right here as well, he could emerge with good performances against Michigan State and Michigan to end the season. Baker Mayfield makes his first appearance of the season with Oklahoma’s recent success while Fournette is there at the bottom:
1.) Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Stats: 1,458 rushing yards, 6.1 yards per rush, 19 TDs, 69 receiving yards
Derrick Henry has stampeded himself atop the Heisman Watch. It started with his stellar performance against LSU, he then would follow that up with another great game this past week at the hands of Mississippi State. Henry has rushed for over 200 yards with at least a pair of TDs in the past two weeks. The Crimson Tide are right up there with any team in the country – as long as they win out and Henry continues to produce, it’s his trophy to lose.
2.) Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Stats: 2,593 passing yards, 70% completion percentage, 23-8 TDs-INTs, 598 rushing yards, 5 TDs
Last week he was #1, but he gets surpassed by Henry this week. As long as Clemson stays undefeated, Watson will remain in the Heisman conversation – especially with his production. Along with his great performance through the air, he has run for over 100 yards the past two weeks. It looks like it’s going to be Henry vs Watson from here on out for the hardware.
3.) Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State
Stats: 1,425 rushing yards, 6.5 yards per rush, 16 TDs, 169 receiving yards
Mr. Consistency is in prime position to be invited to New York in a few weeks with his constant production week in and week out. However, he has limited upside in the conversation due to his lack of “Heisman moments”, if you will. Still, he’s the most steady player in the country and will be right up there with Henry and Watson.
4.) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Stats: 3,082 passing yards, 70% completion percentage, 31-5 TDs-INTs, 301 rushing yards, 6 TDs
What a tremendous rise Baker Mayfield has seen the past few weeks. With Oklahoma’s victory over Baylor, Mayfield finds himself in the Heisman conversation. Looking strictly at stats, Mayfield is without a doubt tops among the candidates – his numbers are off the charts. He offers tremendous upside to the Heisman race and can see his stock continue to grow if Oklahoma finishes the season strong against stiff competition.
5.) Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Stats: 1,474 rushing yards, 6.9 yards per rush, 17 TDs, 94 receiving yards
From first, to worst. It hasn’t been pretty for Fournette and LSU the past two weeks, which has led the once Heisman favorite to all but fall out of the race. Luckily for him, I haven’t forgotten what he did earlier in the season, which is why he comes in at #5 on the Heisman Watch this week. Fournette can still salvage what’s left of the season with strong performances to finish the year, but it looks like his hopes at a Heisman are over. There’s always next year – where he will surely be the favorite.