Tagovailoa Leads 2019 Heisman Trophy Candidates

If they ever build a proper Mount Rushmore for football, John Heisman has to be one of the featured faces – right up there with Amos Alonzo Stagg, Pop Warner and Walter Camp. Back in the late 1880s, Heisman played in the trenches at Brown and Penn, then became one of the greatest coaches and administrators in the history of all college sports. Heisman helped bring the forward pass to football in 1906, saving countless lives in the process, and after his death in 1936, the Heisman Memorial Trophy was named in his honor.

The Heisman is awarded every year by the Heisman Trophy Trust (taking over in 2002 for the award’s creators, the Downtown Athletic Club) to the most outstanding performer in college football, as opposed to the best or most valuable. Quarterbacks, and occasionally running backs, have won almost every Heisman since its creation, including last year’s winner, Oklahoma Sooners QB Kyler Murray. And the odds to win the 2019 Heisman are heavily tilted toward those two skill positions, with quarterbacks taking the top eight slots.


If you’re wondering who will win the 2019 Heisman, it’ll probably be one of the two starting quarterbacks from the two alpha teams in college football, the reigning champion Clemson Tigers and the always-dangerous Alabama Crimson Tide. Here are the top three Heisman favorites at press time:

1. Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa: +260 NCAA Heisman Odds

After barely losing to Murray last year, Tagovailoa gets one more crack at it, and he’s surrounded by arguably the best NCAAF team on paper heading into the 2019 campaign.

2. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence: +275 NCAA Heisman Odds

Lawrence may have won the Heisman last year, if he had played the entire season. With Clemson’s defensive line ravaged by the NFL Draft, Lawrence will be counted on even more heavily this year if the Tigers are going to defend their title.

3. Ohio State QB Justin Fields: +900 NCAA Heisman Odds

Stuck behind Jake Fromm (+1400) on the Georgia Bulldogs depth chart, Fields now has the spotlight to himself in Columbus – but is he ready for the big time?


While this year’s race may boil down to Tagovailoa or Lawrence, football fans who know how to bet on the Heisman are well aware that the winners often come from further down the odds list. Here are three more quarterbacks who could easily bring home the award this year:

1. Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts: +1000 NCAA Heisman Odds

Hurts transferred to Norman for his senior campaign after backing up Tagovailoa last year. He’ll get to work with head coach Lincoln Riley, who led Murray to Heisman glory in 2018 – and QB Baker Mayfield the year before that.

2. Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez: +1200 NCAA Heisman Odds

Martinez took his lumps last year as a true freshman, but he performed well under pressure and has the chance to put up serious video-game numbers in 2019.

3. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger: +1500 NCAA Heisman Odds

After a stellar performance against Georgia at the 2019 Sugar Bowl, Ehlinger enters his sophomore season with a golden opportunity to steal the headlines – and the Heisman.


If you’re looking for value on the NCAAF futures market, you might want to bet on 2019 Heisman odds outsiders at the running back position. Each of the following three backs will be in a position to shine for their respective clubs in 2019:

1. Georgia RB D’Andre Swift: +2500 NCAA Heisman Odds

As well as Fromm has performed in Atlanta, he’s not considered a top Heisman candidate. Swift put up big numbers last year despite splitting carries with Elijah Holyfield, who is now with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

2. Clemson RB Travis Etienne: +3000 NCAA Heisman Odds

Before Lawrence blew up last year, Etienne was expected to be just as important to Clemson’s offense. He helped the Tigers beat Syracuse last year when Lawrence got hurt; if anything else happens to their quarterback, Clemson will need Etienne to step up in a big way.

3. Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor: +3000 NCAA Heisman Odds

Possibly the best value on the 2019 Heisman odds board, Taylor was a finalist for this award in 2017, and could top the 2,000-yard mark this year after missing by just 11 yards and “settling” for the Doak Walker Award in 2018.

Odds as of August 13th,2019.