Duke Johnson Is One Of 5 Sleeper NCAA Heisman Candidates
This year's Heisman race is as wide open as the playoff picture. There are more than 10 one loss teams that have the opportunity to win the rest of their games and earn their way into the 4 team playoff. This year's Heisman could be very well be one of those players on a one loss team who will lead his team to the first ever 4 team college playoff.
5. Clint Trickett QB West Virginia
The Mountaineers do not control their own destiny and if they do not beat TCU this weekend you can take Trickett's name right off of this list. However, his QB play for the year cannot go unnoticed.
5th in passing yards, 13th in total QBR, 10th in completion percentage, he has thrown for 300+ yards in 7/8 games. If Clint can lead his team to a victory against TCU and TCU goes on to beat Kansas State, West Virginia will be right in the hunt for the Big 12 championship and the Heisman discussion would heat up for Mr. Trickett.
4. Hau'oli Kikaha OLB Washington
The Huskies 5-3 record with a 1-3 record in the PAC 12 will not help his case. However, his 14.5 sacks in 8 games against top competition should earn some votes. He has 5.5 sacks in 2 games against Marcus Mariota and Jared Goff who hold the #1 and #8 passer ratings, respectively.
The most sacks in a season since 2000 is held by Terrel Suggs who had 24 in 2002. He is on pace for 23.5 sacks this season. If he has 20+ sacks this season it would be a crime if he is not in the top 3 in Heisman voting.
3. Duke Johnson RB Miami FL
Duke has 1,260 total yards to go along with 8 TDs. Miami has won their 3 out of their last 4 games thanks to Duke Johnson averaging 167 yards per game in those 4 matches.
If Duke Johnson has a chance at the Heisman, the Miami Hurricanes must win their remaining 4 games while Duke Johnson continue to tear up the box score. He will win the trophy on November 15th when the Hurricanes play #2 Florida State down in South Florida. If Miami takes down Florida State behind a 200+ yard perfomance by Duke Johnson he should be considered as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
2. Anu Solomon QB Arizona
2,400 Passing Yards 20 TDs 4 INT. Oregon is currently the first team out of the 4 team playoff but what about the only team that beat Oregon? Arizona controls their own destiny. They can win their remaining 5 games and meet Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game, assuming Oregon wins out as well.
A 12-1 Arizona team with 2 wins against Oregon would be impossible to keep out of the 4 team playoff. Freshman QB Anu Solomon has been playing great football so far but will need to get better each week if they want their fairytale to contain a happy ending.
1. Ameer Abdullah RB Nebraska
Ameer is making his way up the Heisman boards but is still not considered a favorite. He is leading the nation with 1,249 rushing yards and has 17 TDs. The one glaring game on his resume is a 24 carry 45 yard performance in their only loss against Michigan State.
If both Michigan State and Nebraska win out they will face each other in the Big Ten championship game. Ameer could get his redemption and seal himself as a Heisman favorite with a great game and victory against the Spartans. A one loss Big Ten champion could aslo be in the playoff conversation if there are multiple 2 loss teams.