The Heisman Trophy is the most sought-after achievement in college football, next to winning a national title. It’s by far the highest honor a player has for their accomplishments on the football field. Some players put up spectacular numbers every year that would allow them to become part of the Heisman conversation for the following season.
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was able to secure the award after an exceptional performance in the SEC championship game against Georgia.
Young finished the contest with over 400 passing yards and three touchdown passes. According to Vegas Insider, Bryce Young is a +350 to repeat as college football’s Heisman Trophy winner. Ohio State QB CJ Stroud is currently in the lead with +200 odds to win the award. Without question, Stroud and Young will be the projected front runners to win the prize, but others can enter the conversation and win the Heisman. Let’s look at five under-the-radar players that can win the Heisman in 2022.
K.J. Jefferson: Arkansas Razorbacks (+12500)
Last season, K.J. Jefferson led the Arkansas Razorbacks to their first bowl appearance since 2016. They finished the season with a 9-4 record, which placed them third in the SEC West. During one period, the Hogs were viewed as a team that could potentially play for the national title in 2021. Those aspirations came to fruition due to his skillset. He finished the season with 2,676 passing yards, 21 TDs, and only four interceptions. Jefferson had numerous Heisman moments that resembled what Auburn legend Cam Newton pulled off in 2010.
In the late-season game against Alabama. Jefferson finished the night completing 22 of 30 passes, 326 yards, and three touchdown passes. The Razorbacks would lose 42-35, but the game showed Jefferson’s overall ceiling as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. In 2022, the Crimson Tide will head down to Fayetteville for the rematch. Jefferson will need to have a Heisman moment against the Tide and a few others for a chance to be one of the finalists at the Downtown Athletic Club.
Sam Hartman: Wake Forest (+3000)
In 2021 Wake Forest was a team on a trajectory of playing for a national title. That was mainly due to what quarterback Sam Hartman accomplished last season. Hartman passed for 4,228 yards and 39 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. With Hartman under center, the Demon Deacons finished the season with 11 wins. The 2021 campaign was the Demon Deacons’ best finish in years. Because of their 11-win season, the Demon Deacons will be expected to go even higher in 2022. Hartman must play well in big games against Clemson and North Carolina State to put himself into the Heisman conversation in 2022.
Braelon Allen: Wisconsin (+3000)
The Wisconsin Badgers have a steep tradition at the running back position. Players such as Ron Dayne, Melvin Gordon, and Jonathan Taylor have all put up big numbers during their time with the program. Could Allen follow the same path? In 2021, the sophomore tailback rushed for 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns. He achieved those stats as a running back that split time with another teammate.
Allen will be expected to be the lead back going into the 2022 campaign. He will need tremendous performances against teams such as Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa to secure a spot in New York this season. Also, a Rose Bowl appearance by the Badgers will likely increase Allen’s chances of winning college football’s most coveted award.
TreVeyon Henderson: Ohio State (+2000)
The 2022 version of the Ohio State Buckeyes may have three Heisman Trophy candidates. Those candidates are C.J. Stroud, Jaxson Smith-Njagba, and running back TreVeyon Henderson. He finished the year on a solid note after rushing for over 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns. Henderson will need at least a 1,800 to 2,000-yard season to get his name mentioned as one of the remaining finalists for this year’s Heisman award. The Buckeyes’ offense is so explosive that on a given Saturday, they could have three players that can thrust themselves into winning the Heisman.
Will Anderson: Alabama (+3000)
A player on defense had not won the Heisman since 1998, when Charles Woodson pulled it off while facing tough competition in Payton Manning. Could Alabama defensive end Will Anderson be the player that ends the streak? It’s possible, but it will be a tough road, especially when you play on the same team with the returning Heisman Trophy winner. Anderson played a pivotal role in the Crimson Tide playing in the national title game last season.
He finished the year with 17 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, and 101 total tackles. Anderson will need stellar performances in every big game the Tide are in this year. Marquee matchups against Arkansas, Texas, and Auburn to close out the year could determine how Anderson will rise as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
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