Bovada rated seven quarterbacks, seven running backs, one wide receiver, and two defensive linemen as players with the best odds to win the 2018 Heisman Trophy on Tuesday.
Four of those players have Texas bloodlines.
Current Ohio State and former La Grange running back J.K. Dobbins (12-to-1) is tied for third on the list with Auburn and former Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm and West Virginia quarterback Will Grier.
Dobbins was one of the NCAA’s most efficient all-purpose backs, rushing for 1,403 yards on 7.2 YPC and scoring seven touchdowns. He also caught 122 passes for 135 yards and a TD during his freshman year in Columbus. Stidham, had arguably a career year after transferring to Auburn from Baylor.
Stidham, a sophomore that recently elected to return to the Tigers instead of declaring for the NFL Draft, finished 246 of 370 for 3,158 yards, 18 TDs and six interceptions. It was the second-most prolific passing campaign in school history, with only former quarter Dameyune Craig passing for more yards in a single season.
According to USA TODAY Sports, Stidham was the No. 7 overall quarterback expected to enter this year’s draft. He was No. 11 in CBS Sports’ rankings and the No. 10 overall player in Fox Sports’ poll.
Once a consensus four-star recruit out of Katy High School’s running back factory, the Sooners’ redshirt sophomore went from possible breakout prospect to questionable talent to back to sitting on the brink of superstardom.
Anderson saw his promise derailed by a litany of injuries suffered in his first two seasons. He totaled only 11 carries through Oklahoma’s first five games but exploded for 1,041 all-purpose yards during the last seven. He also played in all but one game — the Sooners’ Sept. 23 road matchup against Baylor University. Entering the Sooners’ bowl game week he seemed primed to build momentum.
He, however, was struck again with misfortune after a sexual assault allegation. It was later cleared by Cleveland County’s district attorney.
Entering his junior season, he has more than a puncher’s chance of becoming the first running back since Alabama’s Derrick Henry (2015) to claim the Heisman. Only three at that position — Reggie Bush (2005, vacated) and Mark Ingram (2009) are the others — have won the award since the turn of the century.
Anderson would also be the second consecutive Texas-bred Oklahoma player to win the Heisman. It would also be the last time since USC’s Bush and Matt Leinart won it in back-to-back 2004 and 2005 campaigns.
Oliver, who joined Ohio State’s Nick Boss at the bottom of the list, was one of two defenders to earn odds. That came despite being one of the most dominant pass rushers during the past two seasons.
Oliver had 73 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks with the University of Houston in 2017 and 65 and five, respectively, a year earlier. The product out of Spring Westfield High School is one of the highest rated defensive tackles entering the upcoming college football season.
Odds to Win the 2018 Heisman Trophy
- Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
- Johnathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 8/1
- Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 9/1
- Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 10/1
- J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 12/1
- Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
- Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 12/1
- Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 12/1
- Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 15/1
- Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 15/1
- McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 18/1
- Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 18/1
- Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 22/1
- Jake Browning (QB Washington) 22/1
- Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma) 25/1
- Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 25/1
- Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 35/1
- D’Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 35/1
- Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 35/1
- Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 35/1
- David Sills (WR West Virginia) 45/1
- Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 55/1
- Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 75/1
Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State and collegiate and professional football throughout the country. Follow him on Twitter, @TheMJMatthews, and read more of his content here.
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