The top three midsummer favorites for the 2022 Heisman Trophy are all quarterbacks. And the favorite isn’t the reigning Heisman winner.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud currently holds favorite status at +200 at BetMGM to win the Heisman. Stroud returns to the Buckeyes for his second season as the team’s starter and had a massive Rose Bowl with wide receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba as Ohio State came back to beat Utah. Smith-Njigba is +3000 to win the Heisman as he takes over as Ohio State’s top receiver following the departures of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to the NFL.
2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young is at +350 to win and is easily the No. 2 favorite. Young is also back for his second season as a starter and the Alabama QB looks set to be vying with Stroud to win the Heisman and be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
If Young wins the Heisman he’ll be the first player to go back-to-back since Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975.
New USC quarterback Caleb Williams is the third favorite at +800. Williams transferred to USC from Oklahoma in the offseason after OU coach Lincoln Riley was hired by the Trojans. USC has added other players on offense too like former Oregon running back Travis Dye (+5000) and is the preseason favorite in the Pac-12.
Quarterbacks as the top three Heisman favorites aren't a surprise. Just two non-quarterbacks have won the award since Alabama running back Mark Ingram was the Heisman winner in 2009. And both played at Alabama. RB Derrick Henry won the Heisman in 2015 and wide receiver DeVonta Smith was the 2020 Heisman winner.
Texas players have short odds
The first non-quarterback on the board is Texas running back Bijan Robinson. He’s at +1600 to win the Heisman as Texas has assumed preseason Big 12 favorite status in the wake of all the turnover at Oklahoma. Robinson averaged nearly six yards a carry in 2021 and scored 15 total touchdowns.
Texas newcomer Quinn Ewers is the No. 5 favorite for the Heisman at +2000. Ewers transferred to Texas from Ohio State at the end of the 2021 season after skipping his senior season of high school football to enroll at OSU. The Texas native is the favorite to start at QB for the Longhorns and is set to be joined in Texas’ QB room in 2023 by Arch Manning.
Robinson and Ewers’ short odds for the Heisman are a product of their school’s popularity and name recognition. But they’re also going to be a big part of a Texas resurgence if it happens. It’s easy to see how they could each be in the Heisman mix if Texas wins 10 or 11 games in 2022. But would you bet on that to happen? The Longhorns’ win total at BetMGM is 8.5 and the over is at -125.
Will Anderson is the top defensive player
The only defensive player with relatively short Heisman odds is Alabama linebacker Will Anderson at +2000. He somehow wasn’t a Heisman finalist in 2021 after being a pass rush menace throughout the season. Anderson is also considered a potential No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft and could get to New York this season with another strong season.
Anderson has the same odds as Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei, Ohio State RB Treyveon Henderson and Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. Uiagalelei struggled in his first full season as a starter in 2021 and the Clemson offense will need to be a lot better if the Tigers are going to be playoff contenders again in 2022. Henderson is in line to be Ohio State’s top running back while Richardson enters 2022 as Florida’s presumed starting quarterback and with a new coach in Billy Napier.
Other transfers near the top of the board
Williams and Ewers aren’t the only transfers who are near the top of the odds. Former Georgia and new West Virginia QB JT Daniels is at +2500 along with former USC QBs Kedon Slovis and Jaxson Dart. Slovis transferred to Pitt while Dart transferred to Ole Miss.
Former Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler is now at South Carolina and is at +3000 with former Georgia Tech and current Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. New Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel is also at +3000 after transferring from UCF.
Current 2022 Heisman odds
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud (+200)
Alabama QB Bryce Young (+350)
USC QB Caleb Williams (+800)
Texas RB Bijan Robinson (+1600)
Texas QB Quinn Ewers (+2000)
Ohio State RB Treyveon Henderson (+2000)
Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei (+2000)
Alabama LB Will Anderson (+2000)
Florida QB Anthony Richardson (+2000)
West Virginia QB JT Daniels (+2500)
Pitt QB Kedon Slovis (+2500)
Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart (+2500)
Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke (+2500)
Wisconsin RB Braylon Allen (+3000)
Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman (+3000)
South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler (+3000)
Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs (+3000)
Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel (+3000)
Ohio State WR Jaxson Smith-Njigba (+3000)