Quarterback Baker Mayfield became the sixth Heisman Trophy award winner in Oklahoma football history when he took home the coveted award as a senior in 2017.
With Mayfield now on his way to the NFL, it will be up to somebody else to get the job done if the Sooners intend to produce the Heisman Trophy winner once again in 2018. So are there any players that have a reasonable shot at bringing the trophy back to Norman, Okla. again this December?
The college football experts at the Dallas Morning News were split on which Big 12 players have the best chances of winning the Heisman Trophy heading into the fall, but a pair of Sooners were believed to at least have a reasonable chance of being in the discussion as the season progresses.
Writers Chuck Carlton and Ben Baby wrote that Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson, along with West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, is one of the league’s most realistic Heisman hopefuls. Columnist Matt Mosley, meanwhile, wrote that wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown could be in the Heisman Trophy mix if he has a “huge season.”
Heisman No. 7 in Norman?
Both Anderson and Brown emerged as two of the biggest pieces on offense to compliment Mayfield during the 2017 season.
As a sophomore, Anderson led the Sooners with 1,161 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 188 carries. The 6-foot-2 native of Katy, Texas played in 13 games during the season, only missing the team’s road-win at Baylor on Sept. 23. He shined against TCU on Nov. 11 in Norman, Okla. with 4 touchdowns in the first half.
Should he end up having career-season this fall and take home the Heisman Trophy, he would join Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram Jr. — both who played under Nick Saban at Alabama — as the third running back to win it in within the past decade.
Brown, also a sophomore last season, was the team’s leader in receiving yards by a 137-yard margin over tight end Mark Andrews. He finished the year with 1,095 receiving yards and 7 touchdown catches. He caught for over 100 yards on four occasions, including the Sooners’ Rose Bowl loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff.
The 5-foot-11 receiver from Hollywood, Fla. has plenty of speed [just watch him dust a student in a foot race to get a sense of how fast he his], but it may be a bit of a long-shot for Brown to win the Heisman Trophy considering that no wide receiver has won the award in his lifetime. The last wide receiver to win the award was Michigan’s Desmond Howard [who also served as a return-specialist] in 1991.
Nonetheless, if Brown can make performances such as last year at Oklahoma State — where he caught for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns — the norm, then perhaps he can become the first wideout to take home the Heisman in more than 25 years.
No school has produced more than 7 Heisman Trophy winners all-time, with Notre Dame and Ohio State tied-atop the list. If Brown, Anderson or somebody else at Oklahoma can bring home the award this fall, the Sooners will stand with elite company atop yet another statistical category.