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Heisman Watch: Surprise name jumps into the mix for Week 5

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Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels has the Jayhawks off to a 4-0 start.

In this week's FPBcast, Gerry Ahern and Mike Szvetitz have enough evidence to call out contenders and pretenders.

Another wild weekend in college football brought another data point in the race for the Heisman Trophy.

On one hand, Saturday was a day for the favorites. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young showed why they had the best Heisman odds entering the 2022 season as their blueblood programs rolled to conference victories.

But we also saw the emergence of a new contender who was nowhere near odds boards a month ago. Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels is now sixth on the list of favorites after racking up big numbers yet again in the Jayhawks’ win over Duke and leading the team to its first 4-0 start since 2009.

FrontPagebets presents a breakdown of how five of the top Heisman contenders fared in Week 4, plus a look at what’s next.

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings and subject to change)

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (+140)

Stroud and Ohio State made visiting Wisconsin look like a MAC opponent in Saturday’s 52-21 beatdown that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Stroud completed 17 of 27 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns. He’s now thrown for 16 scores on the season, tied for the most in the country.

Over the past three games, he’s thrown for 14 touchdowns and one interception -- despite star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba not playing due to a hamstring injury.

Stroud and Ohio State should be able to keep the momentum rolling with another home game against Rutgers this weekend.

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (+350)

Like Stroud, Young and Alabama kicked off conference play with a dominant win, rolling past Vanderbilt, 55-3. Young completed 25 of 36 passes for 385 yards and four scores despite being benched during the third quarter.

The next few weeks will be much more revealing of whether Young can defend his 2021 Heisman. Alabama travels to No. 20 Arkansas this Saturday before playing host to No. 17 Texas A&M and then facing No. 8 Tennessee on the road on Oct. 15.

Caleb Williams, QB, USC (+600)

Despite USC winning at Oregon State to remain unbeaten, Williams saw his Heisman odds dip. The normally efficient Williams completed less than half his passes for just the second time in his college career, going 16-for-36 through the air for just 180 yards.

He did, however, lead a game-winning touchdown drive that he capped with a 21-yard pass to fellow transfer Jordan Addison in the final two minutes. While the performance may not have been Williams’ prettiest, the fact that the Trojans won and remain ranked in the top 10 keeps him very much in the thick of the Heisman race.

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (+1600)

Tennessee proved it deserves to be talked about as a contender in the SEC with a win over Florida. And the Vols’ quarterback proved he belongs in the Heisman conversation. Hooker put the Tennessee offense on his back, completing 22 of 28 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns while also leading the team with 112 yards and a score on the ground.

Hooker is averaging a little more than 336 total yards per game and has scored 10 touchdowns with no interceptions on the year. Tennessee has a bye this weekend, which will be a welcome respite before the Vols face LSU and Alabama in consecutive matchups.

Jalon Daniels, QB, Kansas (+2500)

Kansas has become the feel-good story of this season, starting 4-0 after failing to attain four wins in any of the past 12 seasons. Perhaps even more improbable than that, the Jayhawks appear to have a legitimate Heisman contender at quarterback.

Daniels completed 19 of 23 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 35-27 win over Duke. He also rushed for a team-high 83 yards and a score. The performance rocketed Daniels up the Heisman odds board. On the season, he’s now scored 15 total touchdowns compared to one interception, and he ranks seventh nationally in passer rating.

The competition will get tougher starting next week as Kansas faces Iowa State, but even if Kansas can’t maintain its unblemished record, Daniels’ dual-threat ability looks like it will make him a fixture in this space.

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Mitchell Forde is a freelance writer who covers college football for FrontPageBets. Follow him @Mitchell4D


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