Over the course of the first half of the college football season, the Heisman Trophy conversation has flipped drastically, as Trevor Lawrence fell quickly out of the forefront and Joe Burrow ascended unexpectedly at LSU.
But steadily rising from the trenches is a name few people imagined as a front-runner for college football’s most coveted individual accolade.
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young launched his Heisman candidacy following his performance against Wisconsin on Saturday. The junior recorded six solo tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles in Ohio State’s 38-7 demolition of the Badgers, and soon found himself in the top six of the Heisman odds (+2000) as a result.
Chase Young’s last 10 games:
34 total tackles
— WBG84 (@WBG84) October 26, 2019
Even more impressive, Young isn’t the only Buckeye holding steady in the top six in the eyes of oddsmakers. Running back J.K. Dobbins is a +4000 Heisman candidate and has the best chance to claim the trophy at his position. The fourth-favorite in the Heisman race is his teammate Justin Fields (+600), a quarterback transfer from Georgia who has tallied 24 passing touchdowns, another nine rushing, and 1,978 total yards in 2019.
Odds to win the Heisman Trophy
|Justin Fields||Ohio State||+600|
|Chase Young||Ohio State||+2000|
|J.K. Dobbins||Ohio State||+4000|
Fields still lags behind Burrow and Hurts
Fields has the best possibility of earning the award out of his teammates, but his passing yardage and completion percentage don’t compare to Joe Burrow’s (+125) or Jalen Hurts’ (+175) at the moment. Fields has registered as many TDs as the favorite, Burrows, and is one behind Hurts’ total, while Burrow and Hurts have tossed four and three interceptions, respectively. Fields has given up one.
The other quarterback in front of Fields, Tua Tagovailoa, is out briefly with an ankle injury and took a dip in the odds (+250) in light of his absence.
This pair of runs – a 28-yard gain from J.K. Dobbins and a 10-yard touchdown from Justin Fields – sparked a flurry of four straight touchdown drives.
— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) October 30, 2019
Heisman voting favors Fields over Young and Dobbins
Based on recent history, Fields has the best shot of his Ohio State teammates at winning the Heisman because of his position. In the last decade, Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram, both of Alabama, are the only running backs to receive the honor. Every other winner since 2006 has played quarterback. 2006 is also the last time an Ohio State player hoisted the Heisman trophy.
As for Young, a defender hasn’t been awarded the Heisman since Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson became the first primary defensive player to attain it in 1997. Woodson also logged playing time at wide receiver and as a punt returner for the Wolverines that season, helping him stand out further.
Regardless of who comes out on top in the Heisman voting, the fact three men from Ohio State are considered some of the best in all of college football is an accomplishment in itself.
Justin Fields is the best dual-threat in the country, JK Dobbins is the best RB, Chase Young is the best player period. This team is going to be extremely difficult for anyone to beat.
— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) October 26, 2019
Fittingly, Ohio State is also a +350 favorite, behind Clemson and Alabama, to win the College Football Playoff in 2019. Chances are, the only trophy Fields, Young, and Dobbins are focused on earning is the one that comes along with a national championship.