You may think that it is far too early to discuss things like the Heisman Trophy, just a month into the season when a pair of Power Five leagues haven’t even kicked off yet. You would be wrong, friend.
It is anyone’s guess who will win the Heisman this year, or how voting will even shake out. How will a dynamic Big Ten player—who may play just eight or nine games before the ceremony, stack up against a top ACC or Big 12 player who has 11 or 12 under his belt?
Paul Finebaum thinks we’re going to see that exact scenario play out. The ESPN radio host and college football pundit gave his three front runners on First Take today. Admittedly it isn’t the most exciting reveal.
“I still think you have to put Trevor Lawrence at the top of that,” Finebaum said, per Saturday Down South. “He had a little bit of a shaky year last year, he lost one game, the final game of the year. Justin Fields, and then I think it’s wide open.”
Finebaum is right to say that Lawrence got off to a slow start in 2019. That is not an issue at all this year.
Through two games—wins over Wake Forest and The Citadel, not the toughest competition admittedly—Lawrence has complete 81.1-percent of his throws, going for 519 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also has three touchdowns on the ground. That comes with Lawrence sitting the entire second half against The Citadel, and playing in just two third-quarter drives against the Demon Deacons.
Fields is yet to play this year, but he was a finalist a year ago. It is no surprise that he’s in the Heisman Trophy mix, even with weeks to go until his season debut for Ohio State.
If there is a third name on Finebaum’s radar, it is Alabama running back Najee Harris, who had 17 carries for 98 yards and three touchdowns against Missouri on Saturday.
“I like Najee Harris from Alabama,” Finebaum added. “I think he’s going to get big. Now, he’s going to be in competition with a couple of wide receivers on that team, so that could hurt him a little bit. But right now, I think those are the three.”
When Saban has a bellcow running back like Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry, they’ve had good luck with the Heisman trophy. The Crimson Tide passing attack may take away from Harris’ numbers, but you certainly shouldn’t count him out.