Heisman Pretenders Turned Into Contenders By: Peter Snyder

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As hard as it is to believe, we are already 1/4 of the way through the CFB season. The moments have been memorable, the games have been tight, and the players have been shining when the lights are the brightest. I wanted to compile a list of the four guys who I feel would be the Heisman finalist if the season ended today. These four guys are athletes who have done nothing but dominate the College Football scene thus far and show no signs of slowing up any time soon. In my opinion, three of the guys that will be featured on this list have a very realistic shot of going to New York come seasons end, in hopes of raising that coveted trophy and joining an elite and exclusive club. The fourth guy on this list is my dark horse to win it all and has been doing things that are almost unfathomable in his first four games. We start however, with a QB down south who is the favorite in the clubhouse at the quarter point of the season.

Will Grier – West Virginia QB


Will freaking Grier. Where do you even begin? The Senior QB transfer from Davidson, North Carolina is everything you could want in a college football player and then some. He is tall, quick, athletic and throws one of the prettier balls you will ever see at the collegiate level. So far this season, Grier has been almost unstoppable on the field and has been widely considered as the most dangerous player on turf. In just three games this season (WVU had one of their games canceled due to Hurricane Florence,) Grier has thrown for a total of 1117 yards, 14 TD passes and has only turned the ball over 3 times. During Grier’s season debut, Will led his team to a 40-14 rout over the Tennessee Volunteers. In that game, Grier balled out throwing for a total of 429 yards to go along with 5 TD passes. In his second game, Grier faced one of the better FCS teams in the nation in the likes of Youngstown State who is coached by the legendary Bo Pelini. Grier continued to stay hot, lighting up the field with an additional 332 passing yards, 4 TD passes and a commanding 52-17 win. After a week off due to a cancellation, Grier and his Mountaineer teammates looked to remain perfect against Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats this past Saturday.  As you could have probably guessed, Grier put on another absolute clinic, throwing for 356 yards as well as collecting 5 more TD passes in lieu of a 35-6 win. It is hard to explain to the average fan, just how good Will Grier is and just how impressive what he is doing is. In my eyes, I firmly believe we are looking at the pace setter for the Heisman Trophy winner. Grier does not have a weak spot in his game right now and if he continues what he is doing, he is going to have a historic year that we will be talking about for years to come.

Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama QB


Aloha! Tua time is here and Tuscaloosa could not be more happy. After saving the day in last years National Championship game, Tua has broken onto the scene and become one of the elite Quarterbacks we have in our sport. The 6 foot one Sophomore from Hawaii makes plays on the gridiron that make your jaw drop. His accuracy is mind-blowing. His mobility is staggering and his ability to lead an offense at such a young age is absolutely breathtaking. In Alabama’s season opener against Louisville, it was unsure which QB Head coach Nick Saban would choose  to be his guy for the duration of the season; Tua or Jalen Hurts. Some speculated that the two would split time and some even debated that Jalen deserved the starting spot. Tagovailoa put all those thoughts to bed however, putting on a week one clinic in which he threw for a total of 227 yards to go along with 2 TD passes. Tagovailoa looked cool calm and collective the entire game and by nights end, it was no question who this teams starter was going to be. Tua carried over his week one success in week 2, throwing for a total of 228 yards, tossed 4 TD passes all in route to a dominating win against Arkansas State. Tua was than faced with his biggest test of the season when him and his Crimson Tide team marched into Oxford, Mississippi to face a high-powered Ole Miss team. The game started with a bang as on the first play from the line of scrimmage, Ole Miss connected for a 75 yard TD, making a statement early. Alabama responded as only they know how, by taking over the game. The Tide exploded with a storm like surge, scoring SIXTY TWO UNANSWERED points in route of a 62-7 blowout. Tagovailoa could not be stopped. Working the ball down the field time after time, like it his day job. The Hawaiian born product finished the day throwing for 191 total yards, rushing for an extra 47 yards and threw for 2 TD passes. While the numbers don’t jump out at you as staggering, as someone who watched the whole game, I can tell you the kid was phenomenal. Tagovailoa however, had his breakout game this past Saturday, in a much-anticipated game against the Texas A&M Aggies. Jimbo was coming to coach against his old boss, and was brining a very talented team with him. It was the hardest defense Tua would have to face all year and he made them look like a JV high school defense. Tagovailoa absolutely torched the Aggie secondary the entire day moving the ball elegantly and efficiently like only he can. When the day was done, Alabama had convincingly won by the score of 45-23 and their QB’s success was in many ways who to thank. Tua finished the game throwing for a total of 387 yards to go along with 4 TD passes and a rushing TD to go with it. On the year, Tagovailoa now stands at 1033 yards passing as well as throwing for 13 TD passes and is well on his way to putting together one of the most successful seasons under center, in Alabama history.  Alabama has always had the QB who can get the job done. They now have the QB who is an elite QB as any in the nation, making this Alabama team, virtually unstoppable.

Dwayne Haskins – Ohio State QB


The man pictured above, is one of the most powerful yet poised athletes I have ever seen play college football. The way Dwayne Haskins throws the deep ball is mesmerizing. The way he uses his legs to generate power in his throws in stunning. The power in his arm should not be legal. If you don’t know who Dwayne Haskins is, open your damn eyes because this kid is a star in the making. The 6 foot 3 QB from Potomac Maryland drips swag from head to toe and carries a look with him that is just for a better use of the term, dope. He rocks the one stick of eye black on the left eye, the headband over the hair and more arm bands than you can even count. Haskins broke onto the scene last year during the Michigan game after star QB, J.T Barrett left the game with an injury. Haskins made the most of his opportunity and is now sitting here today, as a serious Heisman contender. Haskins showed his true greatness in week one of this year when he exploded for 313 yards in the air to go along with 5 TD passes in a win against the Oregon State Beavers. Haskins was sidelined for a majority of the second half so you can just see how explosive he is and the tendency he has to score at a rapid rate. Haskins found himself just as comfortable in the second game of the season against Rutgers, as he threw for a total of 233 yards to go along with 4 TD passes on the day. After getting the “cupcake games” out-of-the-way, it was time to for Haskins to face his first true test of the year against a good stout defense in nationally ranked TCU. The game was in Texas and Haskins had to do something he was not accustomed to doing in his early career, playing on the road. After a slow start, Haskins caught fire and lit up the Horned Frog defense like a Christmas tree. He finished the night with 344 passing yards, 2 passing TDs and most importantly, a big fat W. This past Saturday, Haskins was back playing in his own back yard and was welcomed home by the return of his Head Coach, Urban Meyer who was coming off a 3 game suspension.  The Tulane defense was no match for Haskins lethal air attack at the Sophomore QB put on a another showcase, this time throwing for 304 yards in the air as well as throwing 5 TD passes in the process. Haskins now comes into week 5 of the season with 1194 total passing yards, 16 passing TDs and a boat load of confidence. Ohio State will be faced with their biggest test of the entire year as the travel to Happy Valley to face the 9th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in prime time. If Haskins can find a way to lead his team to victory in one of the hardest atmospheres the sport has to offer, I think you might as well just hand him over the Heisman trophy during the post game show.

Benny Snell Jr. – Kentucky RB

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Here he is! My dark horse. After watching this cat perform for the last few weeks, it is safe to say I am hopped aboard the Benny Snell express and am fully on board for the Benny for Heisman campaign. This Junior RB from Ohio is one of the most explosive, versatile, lethal backs I have seen in a long time. And yea I have him over Wisconsin’s Johnathan Taylor and Boston College’s A.J Dillon. There are very few players who are not on my team that I get off of my sit and jump up and down when they explode for a big play and this guy does that to me. He reminds me of a mix between Saquon Barkley and Todd Gurley. He also has this vibrant personality that makes you want to join his fan club as he is an extremely likable person. And I can hype him up all day, but the numbers speak for themselves. In week one against Central Michigan, Snell exploded for 125 rushing yards and 2 TD on 20 carries. In week 2, Snell helped his team snap a 31 year drought, shocking Florida and doing it with a 175 yard rushing performance on 27 carries. Week three, Snell had an “off day” rushing for only 75 yards but still collecting a TD in the process. And finally, this past Saturday, Snell put on one of the great rushing performances in SEC history, rushing for a total of 165 yards to go along with FOUR rushing TD in route to an upset win over Mississippi State. Kentucky is now ranked for the first time in over a decade, and Snell is a big thanks to that. On the year, he has collected a total of 540 yards on the ground and ran the ball through the end zone 7 times. These numbers for a RB this early in the season are almost breathtaking and if he can stay on pace and continue his success, we could be looking at one of the most surprising Heisman trophy winners in the history of college football.


There you have it guys. Did I leave someone out? Did I put someone in that should not be? Let me know in the comments below what you think and I will see you next time! (P.S I kept Trace McSorley off this list because I am not a homer.)

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