"Action Jackson" here, and as promised, we will be discussing the 2016 Heisman trophy candidates and whether or not they have a good chance of winning. For those who do not know, the Heisman trophy is an annual award given out to the best college football player in the nation as voted by a neutral group of judges. The Heisman Presentation ceremony will be in December 2016. These are my opinions and views, and should not be taken as a hardline for betting. (P.S. Deshaun's gonna win it.)
Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
The starting quarterback on one of the the nation's best offenses? Check. Future Top 5 NFL draft pick? Check. First and only quarterback to pass for over 4000 yards and rush for over 1000 in the same season? Check, and in the history books. Clemson's starting quarterback can do it all for his team, and if he can duplicate his magical 2015 season while guiding his team to the CFB Playoffs again, the Heisman is Watson's to lose.
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
He's been called the best running back since Adrian Peterson, and the junior LSU Tiger lived up to that hype. Just ask Auburn's secondary. Leonard Fournette is a walking truck and is the focal piece of a hungry LSU offense. In the SEC, the running back is king, and Fournette is by far the best running back in the conference. If he can put up big numbers against the tough defenses of Alabama and other SEC powers, the Heisman will return to Death Valley this winter.
Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
A home run threat every time he touches the ball, the junior running back broke Barry Sanders all-time record of yardage from scrimmage in a single season. Y'Know, the College Football and NFL Hall of Fame Running back Barry Sanders. McCaffrey has the tape to support the hype, and he will be the Cardinal's workhorse this season as they look to reclaim the suddenly competitive PAC-12 North.
Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
The Seminoles had a down season in 2015 (yikes, only 10-3?), but junior Dalvin Cook was their bright point; he averaged 7 yards a carry while also having a soft tissue injury every other game. He sure looked healthy, though. With a nice long offseason, Cook should be healthy and ready to carry his team into the 2016.
J.T. Barrett, Quarterback, Ohio State
The forgotten middle child of Ohio State's quarterbacks for most of his career, JT Barrett is back to lead the team when they need him most. Ohio State's most talented superstars either graduated or got drafted to the NFL, and the team is now Barrett's to lead. Finally the big man on campus after his historic freshman season and then being snubbed his sophomore year for another quarterback, Barrett will look to lead the Buckeyes back to the CFP Playoffs after the team missed out last season.
The Dark Horse Candidates
Jabrill Peppers, Safety, Michigan
One of the most versatile athletes in college football, the junior safety/linebacker/corner/Wildcat/KR/PR will look to be the first primarily defensive player to win the Heisman since another famous Wolverine by the name of Charles Woodson. (Google him and be amazed at his glory.) Peppers had a stellar 2015, but will need to make plays on both offense and defense in order to gain the attention of the Heisman Committee and help Michigan push for the playoffs.
Adoree' Jackson, Cornerback, USC
The other most versatile athlete in college football, Jackson plays corner primarily, but also served as the Trojans' second best receiver and was a return ace for USC. Oh, and he also came this close to participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. All this before his 21st birthday. If he can continue to develop like he did in 2015 and impress the right groups of people, Southern Cal will have another Heisman to brag about.
Brad Kaaya, Quarterback, Miami
Stranger things have happened, right? Miami can be good at football again, right? Please? If this is the beginning of a turn around for the Hurricanes, this is the young man to help do it. The junior quarterback will be new head coach Mark Richt's signal caller, and Richt often has a quarterback friendly offense. If he can build on his impressive 2015 season and help his team improve, watch out for this future NFL signal caller. He may just be striking the Heisman pose.
These are my Heisman contenders, what are your thoughts? Connect with me on Twitter @mrjackson__ and continue the conversation.
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