Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a player’s Heisman Trophy campaign.
Yes, the sporting world is cruel and one game can make or break how the public sees you- but the best player in college football is named in December, not one week into the season.
With that being said, here are a few contenders for the still wide-open Heisman Trophy.
T1. QB Cardale Jones/J.T. Barrett/ RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
Last week: Beat Virginia Tech, 42-24
This week: vs. Hawaii
The Buckeyes have an unfair abundance of talent. Last week, I gambled and said J.T. Barrett would be OSU’s starting quarterback — I was wrong. Cardale Jones got the start and completed 10 of 19 passes for 187 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He added 99 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. If Jones keeps the job, which I have no reason to believe otherwise, then he certainly belongs in the Heisman conversation. But so does running back Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 122 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown along with 16 yards in the air on two receptions. I don’t think two players from the same school will be in New York come presentation time- though this duo could make it happen- but I do believe at least one of them will be a finalist if they continue to play well and Ohio State keeps winning.
2. Trevone Boykin, TCU QB
Last week: Beat Minnesota, 23-17 (26-for-42, 246 passing yards, TD, INT; 92 rushing yards, TD)
This week: vs. SFA
Boykin and his Horned Frogs were far from perfect in their season opener, but he still belongs in the top tier of the Heisman watch. Minnesota challenged TCU and held it to its lowest scoring performance since November 2013, but Boykin’s 19-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter kept the Frogs afloat. He made some bad passes and wasn’t as flashy as last season, but it’s early. Don’t give up on him yet.
3. Nick Chubb, Georgia RB
Last week: Beat Louisiana Monroe, 51-14 (120 yards on 16 carries, 2TD)
This week: at Vanderbilt
Chubb was one of the most talked about SEC running backs during the offseason, and he showed why on Saturday. He notched his ninth straight 100-plus yard rushing game and averaged 7.5 yards per carry. He was consistent and patient, and with the Bulldogs still working out their quarterback kinks, he’ll keep getting a good number of touches. Georgia has two other backs who run well and will compete with him for carries, but as long as Chubb stays healthy he’ll be the focal point of their offense.
4. Derrick Henry, Alabama RB
Last week: Beat Wisconsin, 35-17 (147 yards on 13 carries, 3TD)
This week: vs. Middle Tennessee
Henry got the college football world buzzing after his stellar performance against a strong Wisconsin team. He averaged 11.3 yards per carry behind hard running and great speed. The running game has been Alabama’s forte for years, and with a back like Henry, that likely won’t change. He’ll get plenty of carries and it’ll be fun to see what he does with them.