Heisman Watch: Justin Fields’ return means Trevor Lawrence has competition

Welcome back to our weekly Heisman Watch for the 2020 college football season. Throughout the year, ESPN.com writers will vote on their top Heisman candidates.

To get the final rankings, we use the following methodology: 15 voters, five votes each. Points system: five points for first-place votes, four points for second-place votes, three points for third-place votes, two points for fourth-place votes and one point for fifth-place votes.

Voters: Andrea Adelson, Kyle Bonagura, Bill Connelly, Heather Dinich, David M. Hale, Sam Khan Jr., Chris Low, Harry Lyles Jr., Ivan Maisel, Ryan McGee, Adam Rittenberg, Alex Scarborough, Mark Schlabach, Tom VanHaaren, Dave Wilson

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Total points: 72 (first-place votes: 12/15)

Notable: Lawrence is human, after all. After going 366 consecutive passes without an interception, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound quarterback has been picked off in consecutive games. The one he threw in a 47-21 victory over Syracuse was his first pick-six. That still doesn’t take away much from the fact that Lawrence threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

Quotable: “It could have been a game to pad the stats, but Lawrence generously let 46-point underdog Syracuse hang around with a pick-six. Perhaps we shouldn’t be talking Heisman and should instead be pushing the Clemson QB for the Nobel Peace Prize.” — ESPN’s David Hale

2. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Total points: 51 (first-place votes: 2/15)

Notable: By his standards, Jones had an off week. His 387 passing yards were his second fewest of the season. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass (although he ran for one score). But he did complete 80.6% of his passes, and the Crimson Tide are still undefeated.

Quotable: “Two things really jump out at me when studying his tape. First, his pocket awareness is particularly strong. The 6-foot-3 redshirt junior knows how to maneuver in small spaces and shows toughness while hanging in there with defenders bearing down. Second, the accuracy is definitely there.” — ESPN’s Todd McShay

3. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Total points: 45 (first-place votes: 1/15)

Notable: The Big Ten is back, and so is Fields. He completed 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns, and he led the Buckeyes with 54 rushing yards and ran for another score in a 52-17 rout of Nebraska.

Quotable: “We didn’t have to wait long to be reminded why Justin Fields is one of the premier players in college football.” — ESPN’s Chris Low

4. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Total points: 20 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: Ever since he threw an interception on BYU’s third drive of the season, Wilson has been spotless. He threw for four touchdowns and 287 yards on 19-of-25 passing in a 52-14 win over Texas State as BYU improved to 6-0. Overall this season, the 6-3 junior has 16 touchdown passes and six touchdown runs.

Quotable: “Whether BYU has a real shot at the playoff is a big question, but Wilson’s chances of becoming a Heisman finalist look more legitimate by the week.” — Hale

5. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Total points: 17 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: All three of Harris’ touchdowns in Saturday’s 48-17 win over Tennessee came within 2 yards, but Harris still showed how dynamic he can be. In addition to his 96 rushing yards, Harris caught six passes for 61 yards, both season highs.

Quotable: “Harris can run well between the tackles or bounce it outside; he has great patience to find his hole. He has improved as a receiver. And he can make tough yards on his own.” — ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

6. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Total points: 12 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: A week after recording just 73 total yards and losing a fumble, Etienne rebounded with 86 rushing yards, 20 receiving yards and three rushing touchdowns in Clemson’s win over the Orange. It was Etienne’s first game with three scores since the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl last December.

Quotable: “Clemson has established such a standard of dominance in the ACC that it’s easy to get picky.” — Low

Others receiving votes:

Total points in parentheses: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida (3); Graham Mertz, QB, Wisconsin (2); DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (2); Dillon Gabriel, QB, UCF (1)

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