With the college football season starting to get into crunch time and positioning for Conference Championships and the College Football Playoffs heats up, the awards positioning starts to take shape as well. The biggest individual award in college football is the Heisman, although the outstanding quarterback class is leading the list of potential finalists, I wanted to take a look at the other athletes that have stood out this season and should be considered. Let's dive into the offensive candidates who aren't quarterbacks.
Malik Nabers - LSU Wide Receiver - While Marvin Harrison Jr. has been solid all around, Nabers has been having quite the year for the LSU Tigers. The bond that he has formed with Jayden Daniels has been a major factor in the great seasons that both players are having. The 6'0" 200-pound junior has shown a solid ability to go up and get passes and control his body to adjust to throws and make plays. This season has seen Nabers lead the nation in receiving yards and haul in 10 touchdowns and 1,284 yards on 72 receptions. He has also shown an ability to make people miss and use his speed to separate from defenders (17.8 yards per catch).
Ollie Gordon III - Oklahoma State Running Back - Gordon has been vital to the success of the Cowboys this season. He's currently leading the country in rushing yards with 1,250. At 6'1" and 211, he has shown the physicality needed to run between the tackles and the speed to run to the outside and separate from defenders. He also has great hands only surrendering two fumbles on the season. He's also shown solid ability to contribute as a receiver adding 246 yards on 24 receptions on the season. An all-around back that has shown to be vital to his team's success.
Malik Washington - Virginia Wide Receiver - Virginia has had more than its share of heartbreak off the field and struggles on the field. But Washington has shown to be a standout for the Cavaliers team and is currently second in the nation in receiving yards. He's averaging 13.1 yards per reception and has shown the ability to keep moving after contact and maximize yardage gains. He's shown the toughness to go into traffic and make catches from the slot and the elusiveness to make people miss.
Omarion Hampton -North Carolina Running Back - Hampton, similar to Gordon has been a vital piece of the Tar Heels offense. Having rushed for 1,234 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season, he's shown the power running to go between the tackles and also to gain yards after contact. He's shown the instinct to protect the ball and has yet to surrender a fumble. He is in the middle of a five-game streak of 100+ yards per game and Saturday's contest looks to be another. He's shown himself to be a good receiver with 24 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown. At 6'0" and 220 pounds, he may not have the breakaway speed needed, but he makes up for it with power running.
Rome Odunze - Washington Wide Receiver - At 6'3" and 215 pounds, Odunze has an above-average build to succeed at the next level. It also helps when you have a prolific passer and Heisman Trophy frontrunner throwing to you. He's developed a great relationship with Michael Penix Jr. and has proven himself to be a reliable target. He's shown to be a solid route runner and does everything he can to make the catch. He displays great body control to make catches and shows a good ability to track and locate the ball well on deep routes. Currently sitting third in the country in receiving yards he's proven himself to be a top-tier playmaker.
Although the quarterback is one of the biggest pieces on any team, there are others that are equally important or in some cases more important. Hope you enjoyed my look at five offensive players that should be considered for the Heisman that don't play quarterback. Look for my next piece when I look at the defensive players that should be contenders for the Heisman.