The 2021 Heisman Trophy race remains incredibly tight, with several worth contenders. But is a top two separating itself heading into a critical late-season stretch?
1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1
Michigan State did more damage through the air in the win over Maryland last Saturday, but Kenneth Walker III still got his, with 30 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Walker is not yet getting the overall praise he should as the arguable top player in the Heisman race, but another huge outing versus Ohio State this week could remedy that.
228 CAR | 1,483 RUSH YDS | 17 RUSH TD | 6.5 AVG
12 REC | 85 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 7.1 AVG
2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2
Bryce Young calmly went 21/23 for 270 yards and five touchdowns in Alabama’s rout of New Mexico State. Next up, the competition increases again as the SEC schedule resumes when Young and the Tide take on Arkansas this Saturday afternoon.
71.0% | 3,025 PASS YDS | 33 PASS TD | 3 INT
51 CAR | 25 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.5 AVG
3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3
The top two should be pretty locked-in as consensus at this point, but the next few contenders are where it gets interesting—and they can all make a move up the Heisman watch to end the season. Matt Corral hasn’t had to put too much on his shoulders thanks to a strong rushing attack and defense the past couple of weeks, but he’s been a superb dual threat all year and is leading a top-ten team.
66.6% | 2,773 PASS YDS | 17 PASS TD | 2 INT
126 CAR | 523 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.2 AVG
4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 4
The UNC-Pitt matchup maybe didn’t live quite up to the hype of two potential first-round quarterbacks in next year’s draft, but Kenny Pickett still put up numbers, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the overtime victory. Among Power Five players, Pickett’s 36 total touchdowns trail only Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman (who could also easily be in the top five) this season.
67.5% | 3,517 PASS YDS | 32 PASS TD | 4 INT
83 CAR | 223 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.7 AVG
5. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 5
There was serious consideration to putting C.J. Stroud up one or two spots in the Heisman rankings. The freshman is coming off a five-touchdown performance in Ohio State’s rout of ranked Purdue, and he’s been excellent throwing the ball over the past several weeks. However, the rushing of Corral and Pickett keep them ahead of Stroud for now.
68.8% | 3,036 PASS YDS | 30 PASS TD | 5 INT