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5 Heisman hopefuls for 2023 college football season

Will these players take home coveted trophy at season's end?
Southern California Trojans QB Caleb Williams holds 2022 Heisman Trophy
Posted at 9:52 AM, Jul 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-29 09:57:28-04

These five players are most likely to leave New York as college football's most outstanding player.

Caleb Williams, QB, Southern California

Southern California Trojans QB Caleb Williams looks to pass during Cotton Bowl, Jan. 2, 2023
Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams looks to pass during the first half of the Cotton Bowl against Tulane, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Arlington, Texas.

Can Caleb Williams repeat the feat? Williams passed for 4,537 yards (third nationally) and 42 touchdowns (which led the nation) with five interceptions in his first season at Southern California after following head coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma. Eleven other Heisman Trophy winners have failed to take home another since Archie Griffin did it in 1975. He remains the only two-time winner.

Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State

Florida State Seminoles QB Jordan Travis throws pass during first half against Oklahoma Sooners in Cheez-It-Bowl, Dec. 29, 2022
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis throws a pass against Oklahoma during the first half of the Cheez-It Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.

Jordan Travis certainly has elevated his profile since transferring from Louisville in 2019. He is one of only four active players with at least 5,500 career passing yards and at least 1,700 career rushing yards. He's also the only active player to score at least seven rushing touchdowns in three straight seasons. His 1,784 career rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns are a nice complement to his 5,959 passing yards and 46 passing touchdowns.

Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

North Carolina Tar Heels QB Drake Maye runs with football against Clemson in 2022 ACC Championship
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye runs with the ball against Clemson during the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C.

Somewhat by surprise, Drake Maye became one of the nation's best quarterbacks as a redshirt freshman last season. His 4,321 passing yards in 2022 broke the single-season school record, and his 698 rushing yards led the Tar Heels. Although his team fizzled down the stretch (North Carolina lost its final four games after a 9-1 start), Maye still earned Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year honors. North Carolina isn't a place where Heisman winners grow on trees, so Maye will need to continue to impress to gain favor from voters.

Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum against Illinois Fighting Illini, Nov. 19, 2022
Michigan running back Blake Corum runs the ball in the first half against Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Blake Corum was a Heisman contender in 2022 before a late-season knee injury. Despite missing the Big Ten Conference title game and College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl, Corum still finished with 1,463 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown.

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. catches pass against Georgia Bulldogs in first half of College Football Playoff semifinal at Peach Bowl, Dec. 31, 2022
Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. makes a catch against Georgia during the first half of the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Atlanta.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is arguably the best receiver in college football entering the 2023 season. His performance alone against Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl (five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the first half) left an impression on Heisman voters. If Ohio State finds a quarterback who can pick up where C.J. Stroud left off, Harrison should have no problem besting his 1,263 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns from last season.