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AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

2018 Heisman Candidate Countdown #12: Justin Herbert

Not many players can carry their team like Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert can, and he’s one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates in 2018.


#25: Jalen Hurts

#24: Adrian Martinez

#23: Travis Etienne

#22: Shane Buechele

#21: Nick Fitzgerald

#20: Rodney Anderson

#19: Justice Hill

#18: A.J. Brown

#17: Damien Harris

#16: Drew Lock

#15: McKenzie Milton

#14: Khalil Tate

#13: Will Grier


Last season, Herbert led Oregon to a 6-2 record as a starter, while the team went just 1-5 without him at quarterback. A healthy Herbert could potentially have Oregon in the Pac-12 title mix this season.


Why he can win it

Given his ability, along with Oregon’s record with and without him, Herbert is one of the most important players in college football. He’s a really talented player that got better from his freshman to sophomore season, and he’ll eventually be a potential top-five pick in the NFL Draft. The Pac-12 might not be as strong this year overall, and Oregon gets to host Stanford, Washington, and UCLA—perhaps their three toughest opponents—instead of going on the road to face them. Oregon lost head coach Willie Taggart to Florida State, but last year’s co-offensive coordinators Mario Cristobal (now the head coach) and Marcus Arroyo both still being with the Ducks allows Herbert to remain in the same offense.


Why he won’t win it

It’s the case for everyone, but health is the obvious obstacle for Herbert as a potential Heisman Trophy winner. He needs to stay on the field and lead his team to victories. Also, the bar is high for an Oregon quarterback to win the Heisman after the magical season Marcus Mariota had a few years ago.


What needs to happen

Herbert needs to stay healthy and lead the Ducks to a Pac-12 title. Herbert’s numbers need to be at least what he was on pace for last season.


Stat projection

213/309 (68.9%) | 2,998 PASS YDS | 31 PASS TD | 7 INT

67 CAR | 302 RUSH YDS | 8 RUSH TD | 4.5 AVG


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