LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Georgia running back Nick Chubb are the two most talked-about Heisman contenders right now, but they don't give out the award after four weeks. Many of the past Heisman winners have emerged later in the season, and this group of players have put themselves in the conversation even though they aren't grabbing the headlines - yet. Here are four legitimate Heisman contenders that have flown under the radar so far this year:
Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee Volunteers
Hurd has rushed for 300 yards and five touchdowns so far this season and is the leader of Tennessee's dominant rushing attack. At 6'4" and 240 pounds, Hurd is a load in the mold of Derrick Henry - but with the quick feet of a much smaller back. He has yet to have a signature moment, and that's kept him out of the Heisman spotlight. His time will come, and when it does, he'll have the production to back up the hype.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State Seminoles
Cook has carried Florida State's offense in the absence of Jameis Winston, rushing for an eye-popping 476 yards and five touchdowns through the first three games of the year. He'll continue to be the focal point of the Seminoles' offense for the rest of the season, and he's proved throughout his collegiate career that he can handle the load.
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss Rebels
It's rare for a defensive player to get some Heisman hype, let along a defensive tackle. However, Nkemdiche is no ordinary player. The 6'4", 300-pounder is the face of an Ole Miss team that is now the No. 3 ranked team in the country and put on a dominant performance against Alabama. Plus, he has two offensive touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) to add to his resume, and will continue to see some action in various offensive roles. As long as Ole Miss remains a national title contender, Nkemdiche will stay in the Heisman hunt.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma Sooners
Mayfield had to beat out Trevor Knight to win the starting job for the Sooners, but he's taken the opportunity and run with it. He has mastered offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley's spread up-tempo system and has routinely gashed Oklahoma's opponents, racking up 1,082 passing yards and 10 touchdowns to go along with 139 rushing yards and four more touchdowns.
The numbers are certainly there for Mayfieldm and he led a thrilling comeback victory over Tennessee on the road. Mayfield is starting to gain more and more national notoriety, and as he continues to put up big numbers in big games, his stock will rise even higher. Don't be surprised if Mayfield ends up in New York at the end of the season.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed