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Heisman Trophy Favorites: Can anyone unseat Caleb Williams?

One of the most popular futures markets in college football is determining who will win the Heisman Trophy. 

Last season, this award went to USC quarterback Caleb Williams as he dazzled en route to leading the Trojans to an appearance in the PAC-12 Championship Game.

Looking at the odds, there are multiple contenders in this market, but who will take home the award in 2023? 

Here are five top candidates to target before the season starts:

Caleb Williams @ +500

It’s not surprising that Caleb Williams is the early favorite to capture his second straight Heisman Trophy. The USC quarterback is the current holder of the trophy, and is sitting at +500 to retain the award. 

Williams’ brilliance through the air and on the ground last season helped the Trojans drastically improve from the previous few years of mediocrity, as he led USC to a 11-1 regular season record and brought the program within one win of qualifying for the College Football Playoff. 

Despite losing to Utah in the PAC-12 Championship Game, USC enters this season with sky-high expectations in Lincoln Riley’s second season as head coach. 

It all starts with Williams, who should put up gaudy numbers and ensure his selection as the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. 

Drake Maye @ +1000

Drake Maye flew under the radar for the majority of last season, but that surely isn’t the case anymore. 

As a freshman, the North Carolina quarterback completed nearly 67 percent of his passes while also tossing 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. 

His numbers are expected to be just as impressive in his second season as a starter, as the Tar Heels’ offense is loaded and should put up a ton of points on a weekly basis.

While his odds aren’t particularly great at +1000, Maye should be a worthy Heisman Trophy candidate for most of the season, even if the Tar Heels don’t end up winning an ACC title.  

Jordan Travis, Florida State Seminoles

Jordan Travis @ +1100

The Florida State Seminoles are expected to take a massive step forward in 2023 following their strong finish to the campaign in 2022, and Jordan Travis will likely be at the center of their success. 

The veteran quarterback has gotten better with each passing season, culminating in a 31-touchdown effort last fall. 

Most impressively, Travis has managed to keep the turnovers to a minimum, posting just five interceptions in 2022, despite dropping back to pass more than ever.

The ‘Noles have plenty of chances to impress on the national stage, including in Week 1 against LSU and in Week 4 against Clemson. 

If Florida State is able to win the ACC, Travis will likely end up in New York as a result. 

Jayden Daniels @ +1100

Much like their Week 1 opponent, the LSU Tigers are expected to be a serious threat in the SEC in Brian Kelly’s second season as head coach. 

But outside of its ferocious defense, the LSU offense has the potential to be explosive all season long. 

Entering his second season as the starting quarterback, Jayden Daniels has the capability to decimate defenses with both his arm and legs, tossing 17 touchdown passes while rushing for 11 more TD’s a season ago. 

If he is able to limit his turnovers, the veteran quarterback should put up terrific numbers every week for a team that should be a serious College Football Playoff contender. 

That alone should earn him a trip to New York.

Quinn Ewers @ +1200

Perhaps the biggest wild card on this list is Quinn Ewers, a player that has tremendous upside, but also one with glaring flaws and injury concerns. 

Ewers dazzled in certain spots last season, but was ultimately far too inconsistent as the leader of this Texas Longhorns offense. 

However, the arm talent is still there and he should take a significant step forward in his second season under center. 

Fortunately for Ewers, he’ll have plenty of chances to impress Heisman voters, starting in Week 2 against Alabama on the road. 

If the Longhorns can finally live up to preseason expectations and win the Big 12, there’s no doubt that Ewers will have had to put forth a strong campaign. 

It remains to be seen if that’ll be enough to get him to the ceremony in New York.

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