Willman’s Heisman Top five: post week 11

End of season near, but who leads the way



WSU linebacker Daiyan Henley lunges for Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay during an NCAA football game, Nov. 12.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

With only a few weeks left in the regular season of the college football season, it is time to reevaluate the Heisman race. 

For most of this season, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was the clear favorite, but after an abysmal performance against Northwestern in week 10, the race became very close and it looked like Bo Nix was the new favorite. 

Even though he came in with his new status as the favorite, his most recent game against Washington was good, but more was needed regarding his performance. 

The Heisman race is as wide open as ever and at minimum, there are realistic cases for six to seven players. 

  1. Hendon Hooker 

Tennessee has been one of the two biggest surprises this year as they sit with one loss. If a couple of things go their way, they could find their way into the college football playoff.

Hooker has been a significant part of the teams success as he has had a career year in the 2022 season. Through 10 games, he has thrown for 2,888 yards on 71.1% completion. 

More impressively, he has thrown for 24 touchdowns with only two interceptions. His performance has been good for a QB rating of 181.8, one of the highest marks in the country.

On the ground, he has been good for 405 yards and an additional five TDs and he has been doing it all in the toughest conference in all of college football. 

  1. Blake Corum

The Heisman trophy has traditionally been a QB’s award, leaving Corum facing an uphill battle as he is just a lowly runningback. But being the only non-QB on the list means he must be putting up elite numbers, which he is. 

He has 1,349 yards rushing and an astonishing 17 TDs. Even with his impressive numbers, he will need to put up big numbers and more than likely surpass 2,000 yards and 25 TDs to be in true contention, something that could conceivably happen over the next few weeks.

The one knock on Corum is that he is a non-factor in the passing game, as he only has nine catches for 41 yards and a single TD this season. 

  1. C.J. Stroud 

The early-season favorite is playing catchup ball after his rough outing against Northwestern. But with a five-TD day against Indiana, he is right back in the mix. 

For the year, Stroud has 2,750 yards and 34 TDs to only four interceptions, suitable for a rating of 188.2, 0.4 more than Hendon Hooker.

While not a dual threat like some of the other QB’s on this short list, if he can take the Buckeyes to the playoff and not have another rough outing, he will easily be a finalist for the award. 

  1. Bo Nix 

Nix came into the weekend as the new favorite to win the Heisman amongst many fans. He leaves the weekend no longer the top choice. This is not due to a bad personal performance but rather the fact that his Oregon Ducks fell to the Washington Huskies at home. 

Personally, Nix was not perfect, but he was not bad in the loss, the difference between a potential undefeated or one-loss Heisman candidate could be the difference in winning or losing for Bo. 

He has completed 73.0% of his passes for 2,775 yards and 24 TDs to five interceptions. Although his passing numbers are okay, there are other reasons he is such a high candidate. 

He is the best dual-threat QB, as he has 516 yards on the ground and an awe-inspiring 14 rushing TDs, just under the only running back on the Heisman watch. He has also been getting it done in the receiving game, having two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown. 

  1. Drake Maye

Drake Maye, I owe you an apology. I was not really familiar with your game.


Maye has quietly put up impressive numbers on an ACC championship-game-bound North Carolina squad. 

Throwing for 3,412 yards on 70.1% completion is impressive enough, but Maye also has 34 TDs to only three interceptions. His QB rating is “low” at 178.9, even with his stats being video-game-like. 

To get over the Bo Nix hump, it is necessary that Maye is a dual threat and luckily, he is. On the ground, he has 584 yards and five TDs.