The competition for this year’s Heisman Trophy has two very clear and deserving favorites heading into the season. Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Trevor Lawrence of Clemson are elite talents, and we’ll be fortunate to watch them compete all season long for college football’s most coveted individual trophy.
2019 Hesiman Trophy odds
In 2018 Tagovailoa seemed to have the trophy locked up until things went south late and he was replaced due to injury in the SEC Championship. He threw for 3,966 yards and had a 69% completion rate, with 43 passing touchdowns and five rushing. He was a model of efficient quarterbacking for almost the entire season, as he lead the No. 1 team in the country to an undefeated regular season.
#Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa on the transition to full-field reads, playing 4-wide sets: “It definitely opens things up. When you have 4 fast guys — Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith — (defenses) aren’t going to play man, … (so) it just opens up everything.” pic.twitter.com/jwYAoB0BZ6
— Alex Byington (@_AlexByington) August 12, 2019
Going into 2019 Tagovailoa will have as many weapons as any college quarterback could possibly need. With highly skilled offensive lineman and former 5-star recruit Najee Harris at running back to open up the play-action game, defensive linemen won’t be able to tee off on the rush and force Tagovailoa into hurried throws. And incredibly every wide receiver of note is back for him to spread it around to.
After several weeks of hype and sitting behind Kelly Bryant in 2018, head coach Dabo Swinney unveiled his greatest offensive weapon. After he steamrolled through the regular season, Lawrence shined brightest on the biggest stage, where he eviscerated Notre Dame and Alabama to win the national title. In a partial season he threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Why Clemson will ride the arm of Trevor Lawrence to a repeat national championship pic.twitter.com/TW1VZjtUWu
— 247Sports (@247Sports) August 13, 2019
Heading into 2019 Lawrence will undoubtedly increase his output. His offensive line practically makes up the entire All-ACC first team. Running back Travis Etienne is a Heisman contender in his own right, and wide receivers Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins will give every defensive coordinator they face nightmares. There probably isn’t a defensive back in the conference who can lock down either one. If Lawrence wants to get them, video-game numbers are on the horizon.
Who will wins the Heisman?
Both quarterbacks are destined for spectacular seasons, but I prefer Lawrence. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has proven he’s content to run the clock out in second halves, while Swinney is a players coach who will try and get his guy the recognition he deserves.