Jalen Hurts

With the first few weeks of college football’s 150th season complete, the transfer quarterback was the topic of discussion. Two of the quarterbacks who are currently in discussion for the Heisman Memorial Trophy scheduled to be awarded at the end of the season are transfer quarterbacks. If you don’t have the stats, you can’t and won’t win the Heisman. If you don’t have the big performances in the big games, you can’t and won’t win the Heisman. 

The Heisman Memorial Trophy usually known as the Heisman Trophy or The Heisman is awarded annually to a player in NCAA football. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance and hard work. It is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games in New York. The most recent winner of the Heisman Trophy is former University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, currently the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL.

Here are my picks for Heisman hopefuls.

Justin Fields

Georgia transfer quarterback Justin Fields was the backup quarterback to Jacob Fromm last year at Georgia. He was ranked the No. 2 overall recruit in the nation coming out of high school (Kennesaw, Ga.) by Rivals.com. Fields’ arrival at Georgia came with questions about how he would fit. It was certain that Fromm, which led the Bulldogs to the national title game as a true freshman quarterback in 2017, would be returning as a starter. Another factor in Fields’ transfer from the University of Georgia was he being the subject of racially disparaging comments by a Georgia baseball teammate, then-senior first baseman Adam Sasser during a game, which led to that Sasser’s dismissal from the University of Georgia’s baseball team.

Justin Fields is the successor to Dwayne Haskins who set numerous records as Ohio State’s quarterback last season. Haskins left school early and was drafted by the Washington Redskins as the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Currently, Fields has led the Top 10 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to impressive victories over some manageable opponents. In the next few weeks, we will see if he can live up to the Heisman hype as the Ohio State Buckeyes starts playing Big 10 Conference opponents. The main games to stay tuned to will be (Oct. 5 vs. Michigan State, Oct. 26 vs. Wisconsin, Nov. 9 vs. Maryland, Nov. 23 vs. Penn State and Nov. 30 vs. Michigan in the Big House.)

Jalen Hurts

The storied college football career of Jalen Hurts continues. He was the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2016. He then led the University of Alabama to consecutive national championship game appearances. Even with his 26-2 record as an Alabama starter, his accolades became background as he was replaced by then a true freshman Tua Tagovailoa in Alabama’s 2018 College Football Playoff national title game, when they defeated the University of Georgia, and Hurts’ potential transfer became one of the most talked-about stories in the country.

Even with all the buzz and talks about transferring, Hurts returned to the University of Alabama for his junior season as a backup quarterback to Tua Tagovailoa. In the 2018 SEC Championship game, Tagovailoa went down with an injury and Hurts came in the game and led the Alabama Crimson Tide to a comeback victory and secured a spot in the College Football Playoffs. Hurts completed his bachelor of arts in communications and Information Sciences in December 2018 from the University of Alabama.

With a year of playing eligibility left, the senior quarterback transfer from the University of Alabama Hurts had a record-setting debut for the University of Oklahoma in his first game against the Houston Cougars with a career-high 508-offensive-yards and six-touchdowns performance.

“I’m back where I’m supposed to be,” Hurts said afterward.

All while wearing the same No. 1 jersey his predecessor Kyler Murray wore. For a few moments, he could’ve fooled the thousands of spectators present that they were watching Murray.

Hurts joined Johnny Manziel as the only other player in the past 15 years to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and run for 150 and three touchdowns in a game, which Manziel did in 2012 and won the Heisman Trophy as well.

Now, with Murray’s (2018) and Baker Mayfield’s (2017) previous success as a backdrop as the last two Heisman Trophy winners as quarterbacks for the University of Oklahoma, Heisman Trophy buzz is sure to begin picking up traction. In the coming weeks, Oklahoma’s schedule will begin to get tougher and that is when we can see if Hurts can have multiple big performances in games such as the Red River Shootout vs. the University of Texas on Oct. 12.

Tua Tagovailoa

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who won the starting job over Jalen Hurts for the Crimson Tide last season finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. This year he picked up where he left off in the opener against Duke. 

It’s a reminder that Tagovailoa’s standard performance is good enough to get him back to New York, and even with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, the numbers won’t fall that much. Tagovailoa will be in the thick of the Heisman Trophy discussion all season – no matter what. 

In the coming weeks let’s see if Tagovailoa can continue to excel as he faces formidable foes in the SEC such as (Texas A&M on Oct. 12, LSU on Nov. 9 and the Annual Iron Bowl against Auburn in Auburn on Nov. 30). If Tagovailo can excel in all those games not only would he be a lock for a Heisman Trophy, he will also solidify his spot as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

1. Jalen Hurts – winner

2. Justin Fields

3. Tua Tagovailoa

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