The Ohio State Buckeyes begin competition against the Big Ten this weekend, with high hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff for the second time.
Here are the cases for both J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel as serious candidates to win the Heisman Trophy as well as an early decision on which player is the most-worthy candidate:
J.T. Barrett has led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start to the 2016 College Football Regular Season. He’s done so while throwing for 650 yards, ten touchdowns and only one interception. Add three rushing touchdowns and 159 yards on the ground to the equation and you officially have a quarterback who’s a playmaker with his arm and legs.
After looking at the statistics, here’s a quick summary of what makes Barrett a legitimate candidate to win the Heisman Trophy right now in one final paragraph.
Barrett is averaging just over three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground in three games for the undefeated Buckeyes. The Bucks toughest game thus far was on the road against the Oklahoma Sooners at night. Barrett shined on the national stage in primetime, throwing for four touchdowns, rushing for 74 yards and never turning the ball over in the game. While quarterback rating may not be a popular stat in college football, it’s a good measuring stick for the success of Barrett this season, as he ranks 5th in the country in the category.
Right now the thesaurus might as well just put a photo of Curtis Samuel along with the word playmaker. Samuel has gotten the ball in his hands 48 times from the offensive line of scrimmage through three games and averaged nearly 11 yards per play in those instances.
His best receiving performance came in the first game of the season against Bowling Green, with nine catches for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns.
His best rushing performance came against the Oklahoma Sooners, with 11 rushes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Samuel is averaging an absurd 173 yards from scrimmage per game this season. Only four players in college football average more. Simply put, very good things happen when Curtis Samuel has the football in his hands.
Right now both players have put up numbers worthy of being in the Heisman conversation up to this point. However, the player I believe is most worthy of the Heisman hype, simply has a skill set unlike any other in the country.
Samuel’s ability to have such a dramatic impact when the ball is in his hands is what puts makes him the most legitimate Heisman candidate on the Ohio State Buckeyes. His 10.8 yards per play is unreal, considering he has more rushing yards (260) than receiving yards (259). He’s averaging 8.13 yards per rush and 16.19 yards per reception.
Here’s some perspective. Christian McCaffrey, one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy coming into the season, is averaging 12 more yards from scrimmage per game, but only 6.1 yards per play.
Curtis Samuel averages nearly five more yards per play than McCaffrey from the line of scrimmage. He’s the real deal and the media is to blame for not giving him enough credit for his spectacular 2016 season up do date.