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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Willman’s happy Heisman list – week 11

Daniels, Nix the two favorites
UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. runs toward the endzone during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26, 2022.

At the end of the day the Heisman race is down to three men, three QB’s, three different strengths and weaknesses. Bo Nix, Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr. will be the top three finalists for the trophy when it is all said and done. 

There is a push for Marvin Harrison Jr., the receiver from Ohio State who has played well this season. The only problem? Oregon’s Troy Franklin and UW’s Rome Odzune are putting up equal and in some ways, arguably better stats.

Having two other players at his position with similar values to their team, Harrison Jr. will have a much harder time having a case at the Heisman over his QB counterparts, but it still remains an interesting thought. 

Oregon QB – Bo Nix 

Nix really is the favorite and he is my pick to win the Heisman. Especially if the Ducks win out and win the Pac-12 Championship, there will not be a player with a comparable statistical output and resume as good as his for 2023. 

Against USC, he completed 74.2% of his passes for 412 yards and four TDs, without throwing an interception. He has the third-highest QBR in the country at 87.3 and has a rating of 184.7, has completed 77.7% of his passes on the season and has thrown for 3,135 total yards, 29 passing TDs, five rushing TDs and has thrown just two interceptions. 

If you’re looking for the most efficient passer in the country, there is no need to look further than Eugene, Oregon, and Nix is playing like he wants both the Heisman and the National Championship.

Oregon WR –  Troy Franklin

Nix’s primary target, Franklin, is going well under the radar despite putting up huge numbers. With 60 receptions and 1,092 yards, he is averaging an impressive 18.2 yards per reception. He also already has double-digit TDs with 11 and, although only bringing in two receptions against USC, had 147 yards and a TD.

Washington QB – Michael Penix Jr. 

Like Nix, if the Huskies win the Pac-12 Championship, the Heisman might be Penix’s to lose. A perfect 10-0, it is hard to argue that a QB leading an undefeated national title contender should be beaten out by a QB on a multi-loss team (whether that is Nix or Daniels).

While his TD-INT ratio is far from the level that Nix is at, Penix is no slouch. After going for 332 yards and two TDs against Utah, his stats look impressive. Completing 68.0% of his passes, he has gained 3,533 yards through the air with 28 TDs and has thrown seven interceptions. 

No eye test, no records taken into consideration, pure stats. It should not be a debate between Nix and Penix. But again, it really comes down to the Pac-12 Championship. 

Ohio State WR – Marvin Harrison Jr. 

The wideout with the most hype, Harrison Jr. just reached 1,000 yards for back-to-back seasons. Against Michigan State, he had a massive game, hauling in seven receptions for 149 yards and two TDs. It was the third-straight performance with multiple TDs and sixth-straight with at least one TD reception.

On the year, he has 59 receptions for 1,063 yards and 12 TDs. No doubt good numbers, just not enough to realistically be in the Heisman race. 

LSU QB – Jayden Daniels 

Video game-like. That is what Daniels was against Florida. He went off for 372 passing yards, three passing TDs, 234 rushing yards, two rushing TDs in the 52-35 win. While the Heisman race should theoretically only take some consideration into the win-loss record, the Tiger’s three losses will certainly hurt his chances. 

Regardless, he has thrown for 3,164 yards on a completion percentage of 71.4%, has 30 passing TDs to four interceptions. All while adding 918 yards on the ground and eight rushing TDs. His 94.2 QBR is the best in the country and his stats are unmatched. 

If the Heisman looks at individual seasons in a vacuum, it is Daniels, but overarching team success might give it to Nix. 

Washington WR – Rome Odzune 

The final of the trio of WRs on this list. Odzune and Penix Jr. have been a fun connection to watch. After three receptions for 111 yards and two TDs in the win over Utah, his stats look eerily similar to Harrison Jr. and Franklin.

He has 59 receptions, 1,100 yards and nine TDs. It feels like the three of them are way too close to each other in terms of production. Therefore, none of them stand out as the best.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.