Love, Grier set sights on Heisman Trophy

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Photo Credit: Gabriel Lopez | Daily Texan Staff

Another year of college football is upon us and with it comes the year-long conversation of who the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner will be.

Here are some of this preseason’s top candidates:

Bryce Love — Stanford Cardinal running back, #20

Bryce Love is entering his senior season as the consensus best bet for the 2018 Heisman Trophy. The explosive Cardinal running back finished as the runner-up to Baker Mayfield, who ended up as the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for the Cleveland Browns. Love is an offense weapon for the Stanford Cardinal. His junior year was a true breakout season. In 13 games, he ran for 2,113 yards and 19 touchdowns.

All eyes will be on Love as he will have ample opportunities to have his Heisman moment. Three of the first six games for the Cardinal are top 25 matchups, two of which will be on the road. 

Jonathan Taylor — Wisconsin Badgers running back, #23

Taylor is coming off a historic freshman season. He set a freshman rushing record for yards in a season with 1,977 yards, helped lead the Badgers to an undefeated regular season and ran for over 100 yards in a bowl win over Miami. He accomplished all of this while being 18 years old. This year, Taylor could take his game and team to the next level. 

The sophomore running back has explosive speed and elite big play ability. He had three games for over 200 yards rushing and 12 games in which he averaged five yards per carry. With the Badgers being a popular pick for the college football playoff, Taylor and his team have the potential for a special season.

Will Grier — West Virginia Mountaineers Quarterback, #12

The West Virginia quarterback is trying to become the second-consecutive Big 12 quarterback to win the award. The senior quarterback is coming off a season-ending finger injury which he suffered in a 28-14 loss against Texas. Before the injury, Grier was on pace to throw over 4,000 yards and over 40 touchdowns. The Mountaineer is prepared to come back from injury and lead his team to a Big 12 Championship.

Ed Oliver — Houston Cougars Defensive Tackle, #10

The Heisman trophy is usually an afterthought to defensive players, especially those who are outside of power five play. Charles Woodson is the only primarily defensive player to ever win the award. With that being said, Ed Oliver has bull rushed himself into serious contention.

Oliver is among the NCAA’s most elite players, regardless of position. So much so that his name is legitimately in the conversation for the top pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The reigning Outland Trophy winner is in prime position to use his 6-foot-2-inch, 290-pound frame to force his way into the backfield and the top of Heisman ballots.