The 2022 college football season has officially kicked off and with it the race for the Heisman Trophy has begun. Although no legitimate candidates played in Week 0 (sorry Chase Brown) we will see numerous candidates during Week 1, including two Ohio State players.
Our lovely friends at Fox Sport and RJ Young have compiled their preseason list of five Heisman Trophy candidates and some of these names are obvious, but it is always interesting to see which players raise your eyebrow. Those that are familiar with RJ Young’s podcast, “The Number One Ranked Show,” might have already seen this list, but it’s worth a read or listen. Let’s dive in.
Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma
Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network
Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but this nomination feels lofty. Dillon Gabriel was arguably the best transfer in the portal and reuniting with his UCF offensive coordinator, Jeff Lebby, is definitely an ideal fit, but a ton has to go right for Oklahoma for this to happen.
Dillon Gabriel has a hose. My goodness. pic.twitter.com/yB3GtsylYy
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) September 19, 2020
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Anything is possible after Jaxon Smith-Njigba lit up the Rose Bowl with 347 receiving yards against a very good Utah team. Receivers don’t typically win this award, but Smith-Njigba might be in position to do what Alabama’s DeVonta Smith did in 2020.
We are Jaxon Smith-Njigba days away from the start of Ohio State's 2022 championship season! 🅾️🌰 pic.twitter.com/vYlE3pl50p
— BuckeyeUpdates🌰👀 (@Buckeyeslife247) August 23, 2022
Will Anderson, LB, Alabama
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Will Anderson likely should have won the Heisman last season, but the elite pass rusher will be looking to accomplish a rarity for defenders in 2022. He is the prototypical linebacker and will be looking to improve on his insane stats from 2021, which included 17.5 sacks and 31 tackles for a loss.
Will Anderson works during fall camp. pic.twitter.com/3L1wnIgGJA
— BamaOnLine (@BamaOnLine247) August 23, 2022
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
A big arm and a good athlete made Bryce Young the Heisman Trophy winner last season and he will obviously be on the list all season long. Young is extremely accurate and can improvize with the best of them.
Alabama QBs Bryce Young, Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson throwing some deep balls in practice today. Video via UA. pic.twitter.com/gxoGtmnZkS
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) August 30, 2022
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Michigan State Spartans At Ohio State Buckeyes Football
C.J. Stroud is number one on many people’s Heisman list despite finishing fourth in the voting last season. Stroud ended last season with a historical level of production with 1,399 yards and 14 touchdowns accumulated during the last three games against Michigan State, Michigan, and Utah.
46.3 PPG (#1 in the nation)
— Mr. Ohio (@MrOH1O) November 14, 2021