An entire college football season has to get played before someone wins the Heisman Trophy, but no college football has to get played for us to speculate together about contenders. Bookmakers at offshore sportsbook BetOnline released preseason Heisman odds for a couple dozen players in 2018. Let’s meet the top 11, quickly.
Bryce Love, Stanford RB (5/1)
Stanford could be really good, and you have to be on a great team to win the Heisman. It was a little surprising when Love skipped the NFL Draft to return to Palo Alto for his senior season, but it’s a good bet that he’ll put up huge numbers. Love’s patient-but-punchy running style makes him a great fit behind Stanford’s always-bruising offensive line.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin RB (13/2)
Taylor is a lot like Love: a talented, versatile back who runs behind a beefy front that helps him put up huge numbers on a team that should win a lot of games.
Jake Fromm, Georgia QB (10/1)
UGA has five-star freshman Justin Fields ready to go in case Fromm doesn’t play well, but he’ll probably play well and stay secure in his job.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama QB (10/1)
The oddsmakers think Tagovailoa will be Bama’s starter, evidently.
Khalil Tate, Arizona QB (14/1)
Shea Patterson, Michigan QB (16/1)
Eligible immediately after transferring from Ole Miss, and really good. Patterson’s transitioning from more of a spread offense to a pro-style look, but his talent and Jim Harbaugh’s QB-coaching ability should make this work.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma QB (20/1)
Murray might leave for professional baseball before the season. If not, sure.
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State RB (20/1)
He was a workhorse during his freshman season. He might have to share a lot of the load with Mike Weber, and Ohio State’s offense is going to lean more toward downfield passing. Those are good things for the Buckeyes, but not so much for one RB’s Heisman chances.
Will Grier, West Virginia QB (20/1)
In approximately his 12th college season, Grier might put up massive numbers. Will West Virginia be good enough for him to get a serious look?
Trace McSorley, Penn State QB (20/1)
On the one hand, McSorley’s great and playing on a likely top-15 team. On the other hand, he has to adjust to life without Saquon Barkley and Mike Gesicki. Maybe he can pull it off.
Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB (20/1)
Marvel at Alabama having two QBs on this list. But if Hurts isn’t the Tide’s starter, there’s a pretty decent chance he won’t be an Alabama QB for long.
Some other odds on the board:
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn QB (25/1)
Cam Akers, Florida State RB (25/1)
Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma RB (25/1)
Sam Ehlinger, Texas QB (25/1)
AJ Dillon, Boston College RB (25/1)
Kelly Bryant, Clemson QB (33/1)
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State QB, (33/1)
Justin Herbert, Oregon QB (33/1)
Deondre Francois, Florida State QB (33/1)
D’Andre Swift, Georgia RB (33/1)
McKenzie Milton, UCF QB (33/1)
Drew Lock, Missouri QB (33/1)
Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame QB (33/1)
Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State QB (33/1)
Jake Browning, Washington QB (50/1)
K.J. Costello, Stanford QB (50/1)
Ed Oliver, Houston DT (50/1)
Travis Etienne, Clemson RB (50/1)