The finalists for the 2022 Heisman Trophy have been announced, and a winner will be crowned tonight on ESPN. This year's group of finalists features four of College Football's best Quarterbacks, including three who represent a Playoff team. It's the first time since 2018 that the finalists have all played QB. The eventual winner of the 2022 Heisman will become the thirty-ninth Quarterback to take home the award in its history and will cement their name among the best to ever play College Football. With the stage for the Heisman Ceremony set, let's look at each of the finalists.
Caleb Williams QB, USC
Williams began his college career in Oklahoma but decided to transfer to USC following Lincoln Riley’s departure from Norman. In his first season with the Trojans and as a full-time starter, Williams has been stellar. The D.C. native has thrown for 4,075 yards, good for fourth-most in the country, while also throwing thirty-seven touchdown passes and only four interceptions. The Sophomore QB has been lethal as a runner as well, totaling 372 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground in his thirteen games. With a QBR of 86.5 (fifth best in the nation), Williams has had multiple big-time games against tough competition. Arguably his best performance though, was as a runner, during his outing against rival Notre Dame. Against the fifteenth-ranked Fighting Irish, Williams threw for 232 yards and one touchdown while running for thirty-five yards and three scores. His performance cemented him as a finalist and may have swayed the voters enough to be the eventual award winner. Williams has already collected the Maxwell award which is given to “the best all-around player” in college football and will be looking to add more hardware as he’s the current favorite to win the Heisman trophy, with odds of -1100 (FanDuel).
Max Duggan QB, TCU
TCU’s senior QB led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated regular season and nearly pulled off a comeback win to crown them as Big Twelve champions. Nonetheless, Duggan helped guide his team into the College Football Playoff for the first time in school history with a 12-1 record. Duggan passed for 3,321 yards and thirty touchdowns while adding 404 yards and six touchdowns as a runner. The former four-star QB took home the Davey O’Brien trophy, which is given to the top Quarterback in the country. Duggan’s top performance came early in the season against conference rival Oklahoma, where he threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 116 yards and two scores. With an invitation to New York, Duggan will be looking to add the Heisman to his resume before squaring off with Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl. TCU’s star QB has the second-highest odds to win the Heisman Trophy, at +1300 (FanDuel).
C.J. Stroud QB, Ohio State
Stroud is a finalist for the second straight year, after leading the Buckeyes to an 11-1 record and their fifth total appearance in the College Football Playoff since it began in 2014. The projected first-round pick has recorded 3,340 yards passing and thirty-seven touchdowns through the air (tied for most in the country) with just six interceptions. Stroud isn’t quite the dual threat that the other finalists are, but he’s excelled as a passer with a QBR of 87.7, good for third-best in the nation. Arguably Stroud’s best outing this season was against conference foe, Michigan State. Stroud and the Buckeyes went on the road and defeated the Spartans 49-20, as Stroud threw for 361 yards and six touchdowns on an 80.8% completion percentage. Finishing fourth in last year's voting, Stroud is hopeful to take the trophy home this year and become the first Buckeye to win the Heisman since 2006, his current odds to win are +4400 (FanDuel). The former four-star recruit and his team face off with Georgia in the Peach Bowl, for an opportunity to compete for this year's National Championship.
Stetson Bennett QB, Georgia
There’s been much controversy around the decision to name Stetson Bennett as a Heisman finalist, as he doesn’t have the flashy numbers or the individual accomplishments as his counterparts. Yet, here he is after leading the defending National Champions to a 13-0 record, an SEC Championship, and a number-one ranking in the playoff. The former walk-on QB has tallied 3,425 yards and twenty touchdowns as a passer this season and has also run for 184 yards and seven touchdowns. Although Georgia has made it this far without a loss, Bennett’s play has been inconsistent at times. However, Bennett has shown that he shows up when the lights are bright. The Bulldogs’ QB has thrown for 1,472 yards and totaled seventeen touchdowns against opponents ranked in the top twenty-five (using end-of-season AP rankings). Most notably, Bennett shredded LSU’s defense in the SEC Championship game, finishing with 274 passing yards and four touchdowns en route to being named the MVP of the game. If he’s able to win the 2022 Heisman trophy, he would be the first Georgia player since Bulldog great Herschel Walker in 1982. Bennett currently sits at +3400 (FanDuel) to win the Heisman and could add the trophy to his already impressive resume. The Bulldogs will start their quest to repeat as National Champions in the Peach Bowl, where they’ll take on Ohio State.
*All stats were received from ESPN Stats & Info. Department, all betting odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook