Heisman Trophy Projection 2024

By Charlie Campbell
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The Heisman Trophy is perhaps the most storied and overrated award in sports because it is essentially a popularity contest. The Heisman Trophy is given to the best player in college football, even though it never goes to lineman and has hardly ever gone to a defensive player. If the Trophy truly went to the best player in college football, Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett would have won the award for their sophomore seasons. Other defensive players who deserved the award included players like Jonathan Allen, Ndamukong Suh, Joey Bosa, and more. Instead, the Heisman is really just a popularity contest for quarterbacks.

Ten years ago we were correct when we predicted Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota would win the Trophy. Seven years ago, we predicted Baker Mayfield to win the Heisman, and he did, in fact, win the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Two years ago, in the preseason, we predicted USC quarterback Caleb Williams would win the Heisman, and he did. Last year, we selected Oregon’s Bo Nix, but he came up short to LSU’s Jayden Daniels. We had Daniels in the runner-up spot. This year was a more difficult choice.

Heisman Trophy Finalists:

Carson Beck, QB, Georgia

After a bit of a slow start to 2023, Beck heated up for Georgia, showing off a powerful arm and an ability to push the ball downfield. Beck completed 72 percent of his passes for 3,941 yards, 24 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He has upside with serious arm talent and could become a dominant quarterback in 2024 now that he has a year of starting experience.

Drew Allar, QB, Penn State

Allar completed 60 percent of his passes in 2023 for 2,631 yards, 25 touchdowns, and two interceptions. There is no doubt that Allar has a powerful arm and the potential to be a dangerous pocket passer. Allar (6-5, 243) has a lot of talent, but he may not have enough talent around him to push him to Heisman status.

Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

The Longhorns quarterback led Texas to a spot in the college football playoff in 2023. Ewers completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,479 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder has a good arm and a lot of experience. After losing his top receivers and running back to the NFL, Ewers will be dealing with a new supporting cast. That could push him to new heights or cause his production to decline. Ewers also has dealt with some injuries. Thus, I have him topping out as a finalist.

Heisman Trophy Runner-Up:

Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colordao

I think Sanders will have another prolific season and continue to put up stupendous statistics. In his first year of big-time college football, Sanders was very good in 2023, completing 69 percent of his passes for 3,230 yards, 27 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He had four rushing touchdowns as well. The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder has a quality skill set with arm, athleticism, and a tremendous football I.Q. If his supporting cast were better, I would pick Sanders to win the Heisman. But I think his offensive line, wide receivers, and defense will struggle to play complementary football well enough to help Sanders win the overrated award.

Heisman Trophy Winner:

Jalen Milroe, QB, Alabama

Milroe (6-2, 212) has an excellent skill set with a good arm, a strong build, and dangerous running ability with amazing speed. In his first season as a starter, Milroe improved as the season progressed, completing 66 percent of his passes for 2,834 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. He ran for 531 yards and 12 touchdowns with many clutch plays to get Alabama past Georgia in the SEC Championship and into the college football playoff. Milroe needs to improve his ability to read coverage, his knowledge of defenses, his communication, and develop his football I.Q. Milroe is a hard worker, and good kid that is putting in a lot of time to getting better. I think Milroe will produce a huge year with the new offensive scheme in Alabama. I could see him racking up big plays with a vertical passing attack, along with a lot of rushing touchdowns. I think there is a real chance that Milroe will dominate in 2024 and win the Heisman Trophy.

Honorable Mentions: Offense: Miami quarterback Cam Ward, Ohio State, quarterback Will Howard, Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard, Missouri wide receiver Luther Burden, Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon, Boise State running back Ashton Jeanty.

Defense: Colorado cornerback Travis Hunter, Notre Dame cornerback Benjamin Morrison, LSU linebacker Harold Perkins, Tennessee edge rusher James Pearce Jr., Kentucky defensive tackle Deonta Walker, Ole Miss defensive tackle Walker Nolen, Michigan defensive tackle Mason Graham, and Florida State edge rusher Patrick Payton.