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Bryce Young won the Heisman trophy in 2021 as a sophomore. As a result of his age, he's not yet eligible for the NFL draft which means the Alabama quarterback will be back for another season of college football. Having already won the award once, Young is the betting favorite to win the Heisman again in 2022. We know Alabama will be nationally relevant and we know the talent that Young possesses. Who else is on the early Heisman leaderboard?
Change at the top
Bryce Young won the Heisman in convincing fashion in 2021. He received 684 first place votes. The next closest was Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson who got just 78 first place votes.
Hutchinson is heading to the NFL this season, so he won't be competing for the Heisman next year. Hutchinson is one of seven players who finished in the top-10 of Heisman voting who is expected to move on to the NFL this season. Other players include Kenny Pickett, Kenneth Walker, Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder, Jordan Davis and Breece Hall.
Of the top-10 finishers from this past season, only Young, Ohio State's CJ Stroud and Alabama's Will Anderson Jr. are returning to college football next season.
Young is the betting favorite to win the Heisman. The Alabama quarterback is currently +250 to repeat as the winner of the award. Young struggled a bit in the national championship game without his top two receivers, but even if Jameson Williams and John Metchie declare for the draft, you have to believe that Alabama will have no issue developing talent at wide receiver based on their recent track record.
Right behind Young is Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud. Stroud was in the Heisman discussion for a lot of the season. He was even the betting favorite to win the award prior to Ohio State's loss to Michigan. Stroud will lose Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson to the NFL, but Jaxson Smith-Njigba will be back for the Buckeyes. We also saw the talent in that receiver room on display in the Rose Bowl against Utah. Stroud is +400 to win the Heisman in 2022.
Other interesting names
Often times, the winner of the Heisman isn't the preseason favorite to do so. This past season, Spencer Rattler was the betting favorite to win the award prior to the season. Sam Howell, JT Daniels and DJ Uiagalelei were near the top of the leaderboard.
Which names below the top tier are interesting heading into next season?
Caleb Williams: Williams made a splash when he took over for Rattler at Oklahoma this season. Now, Williams is in the transfer portal and there's heavy speculation that he'll be following Lincoln Riley to USC. Can the duo combine for a big first year at USC? Williams is currently +800 to win the Heisman.
DJ Uiagalelei: Uiagalelei might have been the biggest disappointment in college football in 2021. The Clemson offense was woefully uninspiring in their first season post-Trevor Lawrence. Uiagalelei flashed his abilities filling in for Lawrence in 2020, but that didn't carry over to this past season. Will he be able to bounce back assuming he holds on to the job? Uiagalelei is 14-to-1 to win the Heisman.
The Texas duo: It was an embarrassing season for the Texas Longhorns in their first season under Steve Sarkisian. Despite that, the Longhorns have two players near the top of the Heisman leaderboard. Running back Bijan Robinson was electric before suffering an injury. Robinson is 16-to-1 to win the Heisman. Quarterback Quinn Ewers has transferred from Ohio State and is expected to be the guy in Austin this season. Ewers is 20-to-1 to win the Heisman.
TreVeyon Henderson: Henderson quickly took over the Ohio State backfield this past season, and he's expected to continue in that role next season. It'll be tough to share the spotlight on offense with big names like Stroud and Smith-Njigba, but Henderson is 20-to-1 to win the Heisman in 2022.
Anthony Richardson: It was a down year for Florida under Dan Mullen. However, Billy Napier enters and there's hope surrounding the program. Emory Jones has flirted with the transfer portal, which could open the door for hyped quarterback Anthony Richardson in Gainesville. Richardson is 20-to-1 to win the Heisman.
Kedon Slovis: Slovis has spent three up-and-down seasons at USC, marred by inconsistent play and injuries. He's looking for a fresh start by transferring to Pittsburgh where he will replace Kenny Pickett. Slovis will be throwing the ball to Biletnikoff award winner Jordan Addison. Slovis is 20-to-1 to win the Heisman.
Long shots worth a dart throw?
Are there any players further down the odds leaderboard that are potentially worth a dart throw?
Will Anderson Jr: The last defensive player to win the Heisman was Charles Woodson in 1997. However, if it's ever going to happen again, Anderson has a good chance of being the guy. He might be the best defensive player in college football already. He's projected to be a potential first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Anderson is 30-to-1 to win the Heisman in 2022.
Dillon Gabriel: Gabriel has been a solid quarterback for UCF over the past few seasons before suffering a season-ending injury this past year. Gabriel has now transferred to Oklahoma where he will likely take over as starting quarterback with Rattler at South Carolina and Williams likely headed to USC. Lincoln Riley might be gone, but Oklahoma is still the favorite in the Big 12 and the Sooners have a history of developing quarterbacks. Gabriel is 40-to-1 to win the Heisman.
Tyler van Dyke: Tyler van Dyke took over for an injured D'Eriq King this past season and never looked back. He took Miami's passing attack to a new level. The hype around "The U" has grown tremendously with the hiring of Mario Cristobal. Can the young quarterback take another step forward on a program that appears on an upward trajectory? Is the U back? Tyler van Dyke is 40-to-1 to win the Heisman.