Leonard Fournette has a strong case for the Heisman Trophy at this point in the season, so he’s a natural pick to lead off a look at potential SEC Offensive Player of the Year candidates.
Fournette’s incredible start to the season rolled on during an otherwise sluggish performance for LSU in a 34-24 victory at Syracuse. He’s earning comparisons to just about every legendary smash-mouth running back that has played college football.
On a day where he played on the campus that once housed the likes of Jim Brown, Floyd Little and Ernie Davis, Fournette drew comparisons to Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker from the ESPN broadcast crew, and another famous back from another ESPN personality.
Here’s our look at the offensive POY race, with several other strong candidates chasing Fournette:
- Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Fournette has 631 rushing yards and eighth touchdown. He’s averaging 210.3 per game, which is better than 91 FBS teams. If the Heisman Trophy was awarded today, he’d win easily.
- Nick Chubb, RB, UGA: Chubb is fifth in the country in rushing yards with 599. He’s had at least 100-plus in 12 straight games. His problem is a lack of highlight-reel runs like Fournette and the Bulldogs haven’t had a big game yet. His chance to close the gap on Fournette comes Saturday against Alabama.
- Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss: Kelly leads the SEC in passing yards (1,219) and swag. He also leads the highest-ranked team in the conference, and put up 341 yards and three touchdowns in arguably the best win in the country to date.
- Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: Prescott does not have the pass/run combo numbers that he had last season, but he’s completing nearly 67 percent of his passes and has seven touchdowns against no interceptions.
- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: Kirk’s first four college games have been incredible. He leads the SEC with 442 receiving yards, but has also been a menace in the return game. Kirk’s 805 all-purpose yards are third in the nation.
- Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama: Henry has 422 yards and eight touchdowns, but Alabama fans are clamoring for him to get more carries. If he does, he could be higher up this list in the coming weeks.
- Greyson Lambert, UGA: Since a slow start against Vanderbilt, Lambert has been surgical. He’s completing 76.5 percent of his passes this season and is third in the country in quarterback rating (201.0).
- Kyle Allen, Texas A&M: Allen has scuffled in the middle of multiple games, but he’s undefeated and leads the SEC with 11 touchdown passes. He had a monster game (21-of-28, 358 yards and two touchdowns) this past Saturday against Arkansas.
Just missed: Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas; Trent Sherfield, WR, Vanderbilt