Saturday night at 8 pm Atlanta United hosts Portland for the league championship on national TV. I'll be watching the Heisman broadcast.
Early in the season so many players were heralded as Heisman hopefuls, then one by one fell by the wayside. Many had super lousy QB ratings, like Penn State's Trace McSorley and Arizona's Khalil Tate. Washington senior Jake Browning disappeared from view. Stanford running back Bryce Love came back for his senior season, but was plagued by injuries.
7. Christian Wilkins, Clemson senior defensive lineman / running back. Wilkins epitomizes what college football should be about, playing with joy, graduating early and enrolling in graduate school, filling in as a goal line running back, constantly encouraging teammates, and dominating on the defensive front.
6. Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State sophomore quarterback. Great stats, but lost to Purdue.
5. Quinnen Williams, Alabama sophomore defensive lineman. The best defensive player in the country.
4. Will Grier, West Virginia senior quarterback. Belongs in the Heisman picture.
3. Jake Fromm, Georgia sophomore quarterback. Third highest QB rating, against one of the toughest schedules in the country. Played well in loss at LSU but had several passes dropped, and two interceptions on miraculous plays by LSU.
2. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma junior quarterback. His team was more dependent on him than Tua. Had to play deeper into games to get the win. Did not come off as polished a player as Tua. Accounted for 396 yards in October 6 loss to Texas. Compiled the highest QB rating in the past 15 years. After the bowl game Murray embarks on his pro baseball career.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama sophomore quarterback. Had one of the most prolific seasons ever for an Alabama QB, against some of the toughest defenses in the nation. Did not lose a game. Steady under pressure. Narrowly edged out for the highest QB rating. Played the second half of the season with an injured knee, but it didn't affect his performance. In in the SEC Championship Game Tua was injured on the second play, but remained in the game until he couldn't go any more. Since then he's been praising Alabama trainer Jeff Allen for helping him recover.
Tua is a fine individual who won't mar the Heisman name with controversy down the road. Don't miss his acceptance speech. You heard it here first: Tua has a legit chance to win multiple Heismans.
One of the other postseason awards given out earlier this week, UCF's Mac Loudermilk won Holder of the Year.