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Quarterbacks Again All the Rage in Heisman Futures Odds

The big question heading into the 2023 college football season was whether USC quarterback Caleb Williams would join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy. Williams wasn’t even among the top 10 vote-getters despite beginning the season listed by the sportsbook as the Heisman Trophy favorite.

It is a much different scenario this year as the players who finished in the top five in the 2023 voting are now on NFL rosters. The top returning vote-getter is Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, but he is not the favorite to win the most prestigious award in major college football.

Quarterbacks Again All the Rage in Heisman Futures Odds
Jalen Milroe #4 | Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

It can be dangerous to read too much into Heisman Trophy odds at this point. LSU’s Jayden Daniels was pretty much an afterthought when the 2023 season began, but he ended up earning almost twice as many first-place votes as any other player to win the Heisman.

When looking at the college football futures odds, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Georgia quarterback Carson Beck are the current front-runners in the Heisman Trophy odds.


Will The Mighty Quinn Emerge From the Field

Things are pretty combustible in terms of the Heisman Trophy race when one of the co-favorites might not be considered the most talented quarterback on his own team in the eyes of some college football fans.

Quinn Ewers made great strides in his second season as the starting quarterback at Texas as his completion percentage jumped from 58.1% to 69%. His 22 touchdowns in 12 games are a little low for a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell, his top two receivers in 2023, are now showing up in the Las Vegas odds among the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates.

There are some risks that come with taking Ewers at +800 to win the Heisman and it is not just about the loss of two elite receivers. The move from the Big 12 Conference to the SEC will mean more challenging games for Ewers and the Longhorns.

The biggest issue, however, is the presence of backup Arch Manning. Manning is showing up at b in the Heisman Trophy odds. He arrived in Austin with tons of hype and certainly some of that had to do with the fact that his uncles, Eli and Peyton, are former Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Could Manning take over as QB1 in Texas this season? That possibility is enough to give those who bet online something to think about.



This Bulldog Has Some Bite

Carson Beck had quite the debut season as Georgia’s starting quarterback.

After a couple of seasons spent backing up Stetson Bennett, Beck threw for nearly 4000 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He joins Ewers at +800 to win the Heisman Trophy according to the CFP odds, even though all-everything tight end Brock Bowers was a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Georgia wideout Ladd McConkey was also picked in the draft.

Beck had nine touchdown passes and one interception against ranked opponents last season and plenty of early money will be landing on the Georgia quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. If he wins the award, he would be the first non-Alabama player to win the Heisman at the same school he started his collegiate career with since former Louisville star Lamar Jackson in 2016.


Gabriel, Uiagalelei on the Move Again

Two of the Heisman Trophy candidates are rather familiar with the transfer portal.

Dillon Gabriel, who has the third-shortest odds to win the Heisman, began his career at UCF before transferring to Oklahoma. He is now at Oregon and will step in for Bo Nix as the Ducks’ quarterback.

Gabriel threw for 3,660 yards and 30 touchdowns and also ran for 12 more scores with the Sooners in 2023. His +1000 Heisman Trophy odds might be tempting based on what Nix did at Oregon.

D.J. Uiagalelei began his career in the ACC at Clemson but, when he lost his job, he headed to Oregon State. After a so-so 2023 season with the Beavers, he is back in the ACC at Florida State. The good news is that when FSU meets Clemson, it will be in Tallahassee because the atmosphere would have been a little different had he walked into Death Valley again – this time as the starter for the rival Seminoles.

There’s very little about how Uiagalelei has played in college to encourage anybody to go with the +2500 odds to win the Heisman Trophy.


Loyalty Rewarded for Alabama’s Milroe?

Most of the top Heisman Trophy candidates are on their second or even third program. That is not the case for Alabama’s Jalen Milroe.

Milroe went from being benched after a loss to Texas to finishing sixth in the 2023 Heisman Trophy voting.

Some of the votes could be attributed to being the quarterback at Alabama. He had two touchdown passes and two interceptions in Alabama’s two losses last season.

Things will be a little different now that Nick Saban has retired as Alabama’s head coach. Milroe is worth considering at +1000 in the Heisman Trophy odds.


Ready to Take a Chance on a Longshot?

There are some candidates outside the top 10 in the current Heisman odds to take a look at.

Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders could put up some pretty big numbers in a water-down Big 12. He completed 69% of his passes with 27 touchdowns and three interceptions in 2023 and is being touted as one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2025 NFL Draft. His +3500 odds to win the Heisman are pretty tempting.

Drew Allar at Penn State gets overshadowed by other quarterbacks in the Big Ten. If the Penn State coaches take the training wheels off and let the former elite recruit air it out, he could offer good value at +4500.

A running back hasn’t won the Heisman Trophy since Derrick Henry in 2015. Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon finished seventh in the 2023 Heisman Trophy voting and he is undervalued at +7000. Those are the same odds for running back Trevor Etienne, who transferred from Florida to Georgia, while former Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins also has +7000 Heisman Trophy odds.



Questions Of The Day

Who are the top returning vote-getters in the 2023 Heisman Trophy balloting?

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe finished sixth and Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon was seventh in last year’s Heisman Trophy balloting.

When is the last time a quarterback didn't win the Heisman Trophy?

Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith, now with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, won the award following the 2020 season.

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