Over the next several weeks, college football's elite will attempt to cement their status as local legends as they strive to deliver glory to their highly-regarded programs. The ever-important bowl schedule will mark its arrival sooner rather than later, and by doing so will provide an opportunity for tomorrow's stars to put a bow on what has been a special year for many incredible young athletes.
Individual honors will also be awarded soon, including the nation's most prestigious solo prize. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner will be announced during the televised Heisman Trophy Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. These 11 players have separated themselves from the pack, via Bet MGM's current odds:
- Bryce Young (-200)
- C.J. Stroud (+450)
- Aidan Hutchinson (+1600)
- Kenny Pickett (+1800)
- Matt Corral (+2000)
- Kenneth Walker III (+2000)
- Jordan Daivs (+5000)
- Will Anderson Jr. (+5000)
- Desmond Ridder (+8000)
- Cade McNamara (+8000)
- Sam Hartman (+8000)
We've compiled some thoughts on three players in particular, which we've pegged as the favorite, dark horse, and exciting riser.
THE FAVORITE AND MY PICK: BRYCE YOUNG
You'd be hard-pressed to bet against the special talent that is Bryce Young after we witnessed Alabama's signal-caller claim an incredibly exciting come-from-behind victory over Auburn in Saturday's historic iteration of the Iron Bowl. Alabama received the ball inside their own 5-yard line while trailing 10-3 with 1:35 remaining in regulation. Young proceeded to lead Alabama on an incredible 12-play drive that gained 97 yards and sent the game to overtime. Young went on to hit receiver John Metchie for the game-winning score in the fourth overtime period.
Young has been outstanding all throughout the 2021 campaign. Through 12 contests, the Pennsylvania native has compiled an incredible 42 touchdowns while completing 69% of his passing attempts. The 20-year-old Young would make a strong case to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft if he were draft eligible. Unfortunately for the likes of the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions, he isn't, but Young should get his first special moment at this year's Heisman Trophy ceremony.
EXCITING RISER: AIDAN HUTCHINSON
The No. 4 overall player in our latest TDN100 update, Aidan Hutchison is an exciting and supremely athletic pass rusher out of Michigan. Hutchinson has been in especially impressive form as of late. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Michigan native has recorded an astonishing six sacks in his last three showings, including a three-sack performance in Michigan's much-deserved and shocking victory over Ohio State which helped the program secure a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Big-time players live for big-time moments, and Hutchinson surely boosted his Heisman chances with Saturday's standout showing against the Buckeyes.
Our own Joe Marino recently mocked Hutchison No. 1 overall to the Detroit Lions in his latest 2022 NFL mock draft and it's easy to understand why Hutchison is beginning to capture hearts around the nation. Hutchinson's Heisman chances continue to trend upward and the immensely talented pass rusher needs to be considered a serious threat to capture college football's most esteemed individual honor.
DARK HORSE: MATT CORRAL
Draft-eligible quarterbacks have captured the Heisman honor in three of the last four award cycles and Ole Miss' Matt Corral has the best outside chance of continuing that trend among this year's crop of quarterbacks ready to make the leap to the next level. A dual-threat signal-caller, Corral is arguably experiencing the most fruitful and successful season of his collegiate career in 2021, accumulating 31 total touchdowns in 12 appearances.
As the Heisman race nears its end, Corral put in a big-time performance over the weekend that helped his Rebels capture an Egg Bowl victory over Mississippi State. Corral helped Ole Miss reign victorious over their oldest rival by accounting for 274 total yards of offense and two touchdowns. Corral possesses the potential to become the first quarterback to hear his name called during the 2022 NFL Draft. If you’re aiming for the stars, you can do a lot worse than placing a tiny wager on Corral.