Heisman Hopefuls: Week 4

Photo: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Heisman Hopefuls!

When we last checked in with the contenders for the most coveted individual award in all of college sports, the leaderboard as chock full of quarterbacks and running backs.

Spoiler alert: It still is! Just not all the same ones we'd targeted at the end of August.

Before we revisit the top five contenders, it's time to bid farewell to some familiar faces...at least for now.

Happy Trails!

Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan (Previously: 5th)

Patterson flopped in an opening loss to Notre Dame, looking completely lost and flabbergasted by the Irish rush.

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona (Previously: 4th)

The Wildcats are looking to get Tate more action as a drop back passer, but they've cut his legs out from underneath of him as a result. The Wildcats are 1-2, losing to BYU and Houston.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford (Previously: 3rd)

Love missed Stanford's win against UC Davis this past week, but it was a stinker vs. San Diego State that has his early Heisman resume short of the Fab Five. Love rushed for just 29 yards in 18 attempts vs. the Aztecs in Week 1.

The Fab Five

Welcome back to the short-list! Below are my current standings for the 2018 Heisman race after the first three full weeks of the college season.

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (Previously: Not Ranked)

Pretty crazy to think that Tua was locked in a summer-long Quarterback competition with Jalen Hurts, isn't it? The Crimson Tide are ROLLING, thanks in large part to Tua's arm and his clutch performance on the money down, 3rd down (see below).

Year to date:

Record: 3-0

36/50 passing, 646 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 14 carries, 93 yards and 1 touchdown

2nd in country in passer rating (233.3)

4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin (Previously: 1st)

Down goes Wisconsin! The Badgers mustered just 21 points in a home loss to BYU, which is certainly going to be a red mark of Taylor's resume. The good news? Taylor is the extent of the Badger offense after off the field issues took their best receiver, Quintez Cephus, out of the picture. Wisconsin should bounce back before their Big Ten Conference schedule picks up steam.

Year to date:

Record: 2-1

77 carries, 515 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns

2nd in the country in rushing yards (515)

3. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State (Previously: Not Ranked)

Sheesh. We've long wondered what the Buckeyes offense would look like with...you know...a quarterback who can actually throw the football. Well now we know. Haskins has the Buckeyes roaring out the gates and firing on all cylinders. Fresh off a big win against previously #15th ranked TCU, Haskins has a resume win to his name and was instrumental in the Buckeyes pulling out the 'W'.

Year to date:

Record: 3-0

66/91, 890 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 7 rushes, 23 yards, 1 rushing touchdown

T-5th in country in passing touchdowns (11)

2. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma (Previously: Not Ranked)

Boomer! Shame on me, as I downplayed Murray's potential after some lackluster spot plays in Mayfield's Heisman campaign of 2017.

Murray won't fool me twice. He's a wonderful college quarterback who puts defenses in a bind with his athleticism and ability to sling the ball around effortlessly. Murray doesn't have a signature win to the level of Haskins, but he did help the Sooners persevere against a tough Iowa State team on the road last weekend.

Thus far, Murray is statistically even with Mayfield through three games, an impressive mark.

Year to date: 

Record: 3-0

49/73, 863 passing yards, 8 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 29 rushes, 169 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns

6th in country in passer rating (199.84)

1. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia (Previously: 2nd)

Thrill Grier has met the hype. I, for one, was super disappointed in the decision to cancel West Virginia's contest against NC State.

NOTE: I respect the decision and am fully here for the safety of all of the folks in the Carolinas!

Grier had a layup game against Youngstown State in Week 2, but it was a masterful performance against an SEC defense (yes, even Tennessee's) that has me leaving no reason to drop Grier down in the ranks. As the Mountaineers pursue the Big 12 Championship, a late November date with the Sooners in Oklahoma could be Grier's Heisman moment.

Year to date:

Record: 2-0

46/60 passing, 761 passing yards, 9 passing touchdowns, 1 interception

4th in passing yards per game (380.5) and 3rd in passer rating (229.38)

Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Chief Brand Officer

CBO & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former NDT Scouting Overlord.