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AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

2018 Heisman Candidate Countdown #4: J.K. Dobbins

After D’Andre Swift began the top five of the 2018 Heisman Trophy candidate countdown, fellow sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins is next up on the list.


#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

#12: Justin Herbert

#11: Dwayne Haskins

#10: Shea Patterson

#9: Tua Tagovailoa

#8: Kelly Bryant

#7: Jarrett Stidham

#6: Jake Fromm

#5: D’Andre Swift


Dobbins was very productive as a true freshman last season, totaling over 1,500 yards on offense for the Buckeyes. He enters 2018 as one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates in the nation.


Why he can win it

Dobbins has drawn comparison to former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, which indicates how good of a player he is. The compact, powerful runner has already shown he can be highly productive in the Big Ten, and there’s no reason to believe his production will decline from last year. It’s still early in his career, but Dobbins is likely going to fly up Ohio State’s all-time rushing leaderboards and might even threaten Archie Griffin’s school record 5,589—but it’s going to have to start with a monster season in 2018. As a headliner for one of the top programs in the country, Dobbins will get plenty of hype if he’s playing well.


Why he won’t win it

Junior running back Mike Weber is still with the Buckeyes, and he’s a very good runner too. Last season, Weber battled injuries and ended up with 101 carries for 626 yards and ten touchdowns—those numbers could potentially take a jump this year if he’s healthy and making an impact. Also, quarterback Dwayne Haskins (who is also on the Heisman countdown) could sling the ball around more than we’ve seen the past few seasons. And while Haskins can run, the threat of J.T. Barrett as a runner is no longer there for defenses to worry about.


What needs to happen

Dobbins needs to get over the 250-carry mark after he had 194 carries last season. Ohio State must win the Big Ten.


Stat projection

264 CAR | 1,848 RUSH YDS | 19 RUSH TD | 7.0 AVG

33 REC | 264 REC YDS | 4 REC TD | 8.0 AVG


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