The past four years have been rather interesting when it comes to the Heisman Trophy race. Players who were the clear-cut favorite midseason or even late in the year have come up short in the end. Neither of the top two preseason favorites has won the Heisman in any of the past four seasons. The eventual winner each of those years came from one of the top four teams in the polls late in November. Three of the past four Heisman winners were on teams that reached the College Football Playoff.
In 2015, Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State, Nick Chubb of Georgia, Cody Kessler of USC, Trevone Boykin of TCU and Dak Prescott of Mississippi State were the preseason Heisman favorites. Derrick Henry was 16-1 coming into the season but took home the trophy for an Alabama team that was No. 2 in the country heading into the playoff.
In 2016, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey were preseason favorites. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, who had thrown for 1,840 yards with a 54.7 completion percentage and a 12-8 TD/INT ratio the year prior, was a dark horse but won the Heisman that year. Louisville finished the season 9-4, but the Cardinals had been 9-1 and No. 3 in the polls late in the year.
In 2017, Jackson and USC’s Sam Darnold were the preseason favorites to take home the hardware. Baker Mayfield wasn’t exactly a dark horse at 8-1 odds at the start of the year, but after throwing for 4,627 yards (70.5 completion percentage, 43 TDs, 6 INTs), Mayfield won the award for an Oklahoma team that was No. 2 in the country heading into the playoff.
Last year it was Stanford’s Bryce Love and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa who were favorites to take home the award. Tagovailoa had the honor seemingly locked up by midseason, but Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, a long shot heading into the year, passed for 4,361 yards and ran for 1,001 yards (54 total touchdowns) and won the Heisman. Oklahoma would enter the playoff at No. 4 and met Alabama in the semifinals.
Here are six players who are worth a wager in 2019.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.