2019 Season Preview: This Year's Heisman Trophy Predictions from the Eleven Warriors Staff

By Andrew Ellis on August 18, 2019 at 8:30 am
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Eleven Warriors 2019 Season Preview

College football returns next Saturday when the Gators and Hurricanes do battle in Orlando. The following weekend is when things really get going as the Buckeyes are set to host Lane Kiffin and the Owls on Aug. 31 at noon.

The kickoff of another season brings with it the start of the 2019 Heisman Trophy chase. Justin Fields is expected to be named Ohio State's starting quarterback tomorrow and his immediate eligibility has already put him in the early Heisman conversation according to most oddsmakers. 

Many folks seem to believe it could be a two-man race with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa as the early favorites. Westgate's Las Vegas SuperBook has the duo at the top of the list with 11/4 odds. Justin Fields is tied for the third-best odds at 10/1 while J.K. Dobbins is down the list at 60/1.

Heading into last season, the staff here at Eleven Warriors submitted our picks like we do each and every year. It wasn't our best effort as Dan Hope was the only prognosticator to even select one of the finalists (Tua). Other names on last year's list of submissions included Khalil Tate, Trace McSorley, and Joe Burrow. Eventual winner Kyler Murray didn't even have top-10 odds heading into the season.

We're back at it again for the 2019 season and most are siding with the long-haired defending national champion who would look quite dazzling in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform.

Ramzy Nasrallah

Pick: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Breakdown: Let's not overthink this. Clemson's schedule sucks and every highlight is going to be slobbered over. On top of everything else, Lawrence isn't overrated or overhyped - he's that good. This should be uninteresting and anticlimactic. He'll be seated in NYC between Tua and Taylor.

Johnny Ginter

Pick: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Breakdown: "Uh actually, he was inconsistent in 2018 and you can't base a Heisman pick on one game." Well guess what, I don't care and yes I can. Clemson is probably the best team in the country and Trev is both very good and the quarterback for said best team. Ergo, he's got like a 50% chance right out of the gate. Also just once I'd like for my preseason Heisman pick to at least end up as a finalist. 2019 is for playing it safe!

Dan Hope

Pick: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Breakdown: Lawrence was spectacular down the stretch of last season in leading Clemson to a national championship – and he was only a true freshman. With a year of experience under his belt and a loaded group of returning playmakers around him, headlined by fellow sophomore Justyn Ross at wide receiver, Lawrence looks poised to become the best quarterback in college football and should put up huge numbers.

If he performs up to expectations, Clemson will once again be a frontrunner to win the national title and Lawrence should have a great shot at becoming Clemson’s first-ever Heisman Trophy winner.

Chris Lauderback

Pick: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Breakdown: The highest-profile player – who also happens to be a quarterback – on what I think is the nation’s best team makes him a pretty safe pick. Plus, it’s fair to expect he’ll be even better than last year now that he has some collegiate experience including those two ridiculous CFP efforts where he looked like the best player in college football.

Kyle Jones

PickTrevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Breakdown: Mel Kiper’s fever dream QB will get a full season of throwing to all-world WRs Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross, which shows that Dabo is in year 6 of his NCAA ‘14 dynasty and will probably get bored and switch to playing FIFA soon. Add in the fact that the only team on Clemson’s schedule which finished in the top 30 in total defense last fall is Charlotte (#22) and the only threat to Lawrence’s Heisman campaign is a playing time schedule that looks like an NFL veteran in week 2 of the preseason.

Jake Anderson

Pick: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Breakdown: Lawrence is coming off a freshman season that saw him throw for 3,280 yards and a 6:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Oh, and he went 15-0 and won a national championship, which he won by tearing Alabama’s defense apart for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Lawrence should be the front runner based on his ability alone, but the offense’s returning receivers make this pick a no-brainer. Justyn Ross was a true freshman last year and had 1,000 receiving yards. Tee Higgins is returning as one of the best receivers in the nation after his 936-yard campaign last year.

The Tigers should easily advance to the playoffs with Lawrence, the 2019 Heisman trophy winner, at the helm.

David Regimbal

Pick: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama

Breakdown: Trevor Lawrence is only eight months removed from shredding Alabama’s defense like a thin, weathered magazine on his way to claiming a national title for Clemson, but I like Tua and Alabama to bounce back this year.

With the weapons at Tua’s disposal and revenge on the mind of the entire Tide team this season, it’s easy to see the Alabama quarterback lifting college football’s most prominent individual trophy at the end of the year.

David Wertheim

Pick: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon

Breakdown: It's a quarterback's award, with gunslingers winning 16 of 18 times since 2000. While most will probably pick Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, or Jake Fromm, you can't forget someone who was in discussion to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft before he decided to stay in school for another year.

Last season, Herbert threw for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns, to go with just eight interceptions. This added up to a 144.7 rating. This year, those numbers could get even better under second-year head coach Mario Cristobal.

With the Pac-12 suffering through a down period outside of maybe Washington, the door is open for Herbert to put up big numbers. The Ducks open the season against Auburn in Dallas, so there is a marquee stage to begin the year if Herbert can take advantage of it.

Andrew Ellis

Pick: Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, Oklahoma

Breakdown: Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa deserve to be the Heisman favorites as they are unquestionably two of the best players in college football. I've got Jalen Hurts as my pick, however, and I expect him to put up a gaudy stat line in Lincoln Riley's offense. Hurts certainly isn't the best passer in the country, but his rushing ability is among the best at the position.

The passing game loses Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, but CeeDee Lamb should be one of the country's most explosive wideouts. It's pretty crazy to think about the production the Sooners have had at the position, but it could continue in 2019 with Hurts at the helm. Going up against Big-12 defenses isn't the most intimidating thing in the world either.

Several other familiar names are on this year's list of contenders. In addition to Fields and Dobbins, a number of the Big Ten's best are expected to at least have a shot. That includes Adrian Martinez, Jonathan Taylor, Shea Patterson, and Rondale Moore. Joe Burrow is listed with 40/1 odds and he'll lead the Bayou Bengals to Austin on Sept. 7 for one of the best early-season matchups. 

Who's your pick for this year's Heisman? 

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