Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is the first Heisman Trophy winner since 2017 to play another college season and he is trying to become just the second player to win the award twice.
It has been nearly half a century since Ohio State’s Archie Griffin won back-to-back Heismans in 1974-75. Since then, 10 winners have returned to school and none have really come close to repeating.
This is part of the reason why Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, who finished fourth in the Heisman voting last year, is the favorite to win the award this season, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Who will win college football’s biggest individual prizes in 2022? Let’s have a look:
HEISMAN TROPHY (most outstanding player).
Top contenders: Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama; Devin Leary, QB, North Carolina State; Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas; C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State; Caleb Williams, QB, USC; Bryce Young, QB, Alabama.
Breakout player who won’t win the award but could be a finalist: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida.
And the winner is … Williams becomes the third quarterback coached by Lincoln Riley to win the Heisman, following Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma.
BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY (defensive player of the year)
Contenders: Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama; Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia; Noah Sewell, LB Oregon; Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State; Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah.
Breakout player who won’t win the award but could be a finalist: Jack Sawyer, DE, Ohio State.
And the winner is … Anderson will have to live up to a mountain of hype to become the second player to repeat as Nagurski winner (Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern, 1995-96). He’s good enough to do it.
OUTLAND TROPHY (best interior lineman)
Contenders: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson; Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia; Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor; Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State; Pete Skoronski, OT, Northwestern.
Breakout player who won’t win it but could be a finalist: Blake Fisher, OT, Notre Dame.
And the winner is … Carter is considered to have a higher ceiling than the two first-round draft picks Georgia had on its line last year (Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt) .
DOAK WALKER AWARD (best running back)
Contenders: Braelon Allen, Wisconsin; TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State; Bijan Robinson, Texas; Sean Tucker, Syracuse; Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State.
Breakout player who won’t win it but could be a finalist: Corey Kiner, Cincinnati.
And the winner is … Allen follows up his late-season freshman breakout of 2021 with a full-season run at 2,000 yards rushing.
BILETNIKOFF AWARD (best receiver)
Contenders: Jordan Addison, USC; Kayshon, Boutte, LSU; Josh Downs, North Carolina; Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Ohio State; Cedric Tillman, Tennessee.
Breakout player who won’t win it but could be a finalist: Juice Wells, South Carolina.
And the winner is … Boutte is the focal point of an LSU offense that is otherwise looking for continuity and cohesion.
JIM THORPE AWARD (best defensive back)
Contenders: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama; Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame; Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah; Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State; Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia.
Breakout player who won’t win it but could be a finalist: James Williams, S, Miami.
And the winner is … Phillips is the latest Utes defensive back destined to be a high-round draft pick.
Butkus Award (best linebacker): Justin Flowe, Oregon.
Mackey Award (best tight end): Michael Mayer, Notre Dame.
Groza Award (best kicker): Harrison Mevis, Missouri.
Ray Guy (best punter): Adam Kosrak, Rutgers.
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