5 Heisman hopefuls for the 2022 college football season

These five players are most likely to leave New York as college football’s most outstanding player.

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Michael Ainsworth/AP

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young warms up before the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Cotton Bowl against Cincinnati, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.

Can Bryce Young become the first Heisman Trophy winner to win it twice since Ohio State running back Archie Griffin did so in 1974-75? Young led the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference championship and set Alabama single-season records for passing yards (4,872) and touchdowns (47) during the 2021 campaign, but he fell short of helping Alabama win its seventh national title under head coach Nick Saban .

CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes QB prepares to throw in 2022 Rose Bowl

Mark J. Terrill/AP

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud throws during the first half of the Rose Bowl against Utah, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Pasadena, Calif.

In his last game, CJ Stroud set Rose Bowl records with 573 passing yards and six touchdown passes, leading Ohio State back from a 14-point deficit to defeat Utah in a 48-45 thriller. He threw for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and just six interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 12 games last season.

Caleb Williams, QB, Southern California

Southern California Trojans QB Caleb Williams throws in practice, April 5, 2022

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams throws during practice Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Los Angeles.

In the span of a few months, Caleb Williams went from Oklahoma’s backup quarterback to the star signal caller for the Sooners. Now he’s followed head coach Lincoln Riley to Los Angeles, where he’ll suit up for the Trojans in 2022. Williams threw for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and four picks while rushing for 442 yards and six more scores as a true freshman last season. Not bad for a guy who didn’t play high school football as a senior in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson vs.  Kansas Jayhawks, Nov.  13, 2021

Chuck Burton/AP

Texas running back Bijan Robinson runs against Kansas during the first half of a game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

A Doak Walker Award semifinalist in 2021, Bijan Robinson carried the football 195 times for a team-leading 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 26 catches for 295 yards and four touchdowns. If he makes a lasting impression in an early season clash with Alabama, Robinson could help his chances of becoming the first Heisman Trophy winner from Texas since Ricky Williams in 1998 and first running back since Alabama’s Derrick Henry in 2015.

Devin Leary, QB, North Carolina State

NC State Wolfpack QB Devin Leary prepares to throw, Nov.  20, 2021

Karl B DeBlake/AP

North Carolina State’s Devin Leary gets ready to pass the ball against Syracuse during the second half of a game, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Raleigh, NC

Consider Devin Leary this year’s dark horse candidate. Leary set a single-season school record with 35 passing touchdowns, breaking the previous mark of 34 set by Philip Rivers in 2003. He went 228 straight passes without throwing an interception last season. In fact, he only had seven in two seasons. Now, if he could just get the Wolfpack to a New Year’s Six bowl.


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