Just days after Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy, Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley found himself on a list of Sports Illustrated’s 15 frontrunners for next year’s award.
McSorley is considered the favorite to represent the Big Ten in New York next December, with Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins also earning early recognition from Andy Staples. Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins is another exciting candidate after a breakout freshman campaign in Columbus.
The conference surprisingly hasn’t had a Heisman winner since Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith in 2006.
McSorley will have to contend with a handful of talented signal callers across the college football landscape if he’s going to follow in John Cappelletti’s footsteps as Penn State’s second Heisman winner. Louisville star Lamar Jackson, who took home the trophy in 2016 and finished third this year, could come back for his senior season if he doesn’t like what he hears in his NFL inquiries.
USC’s Sam Darnold is an intriguing case, with many predicting he’ll declare early for the draft despite having two years of eligibility left in Los Angeles. Houston defensive tackle and Outland Trophy winner Ed Oliver could make a splash in next year’s Heisman race too, according to Staples.
Already the Penn State record holder for most touchdowns responsible for with 75, McSorley is just 1,431 passing yards away from overtaking Christian Hackenberg’s all-time mark. McSorley and new offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne will have a chance to continue building confidence together in the Fiesta Bowl against Washington on Dec. 30.