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Buckeye Heisman Hopefuls

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Every year before the college football season starts, the odds makers gather and put out who they think will be the best player for the upcoming season. Ohio State will normally find themselves having a player or two make the list every year. Once August comes around, the race begins. Fans remain hopeful, but when it’s all said and done, the Buckeyes fall short of another Heisman Trophy.

However, fans this year have not just one Buckeye to cheer for on the list, not two either, but three Buckeyes that have made the first Heisman odds list of the new season.

Photo: David Petkiewicz /

C.J. Stroud: +200 (1st)

The No. 1 player is the guy that made it to New York and the Heisman presentation last year in C.J. Stroud. The Buckeye quarterback is one the entire nation will be keeping a close eye on, as the Buckeyes suffered two regular season losses last year behind his developing arm. Stroud last year was arguably the best QB in the nation despite those losses, and many fans outside of Tuscaloosa and Ann Arbor thought he deserved the top spot in the Heisman race. In just his freshman season, he led the nation in passer rating, was 5th in passing yards, 3rd in touchdowns and tied for 27th in least interceptions thrown. Now, with a full season under his belt, the Buckeye faithful hope he can be the guy to lead the scarlet and gray back to their first championship in nearly a decade, and their first heisman since 2006 when Buckeye legend Troy Smith took home the award.

TreVeyon Henderson: +2000 (Tied 5th)

The No. 2 Buckeye to watch this season will be no other than the man standing next to the Heisman frontrunner in TreVeyon Henderson. Coming off a 1,248 yard campaign in his freshman season, young Tre looks poised to take over the nation on the ground. He was 23rd in rushing yards last year and 13th in rushing touchdowns. He is the No. 1 back this year, with no one even close as the No. 2 and should find himself getting the bulk of the carries when Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson decide to run the football this season. He’s shown he can produce the numbers, and he’s got brand recognition on his side, so as long as the young running back can keep on running and stay away from injuries, a trip to New York may be in order in December.

Photo: Sports illustrated

Jaxon Smith-Njigba: +3000 (Tied 14th)

Third for the Buckeyes this year is No. 1’s favorite target in Jaxon Smith-Njigba. One of the most must-see players in college football will once again be coming out of the Buckeyes wide receiver room. Smith-Njigba must now live up to the overwhelming hype that has taken over his name after an outstanding sophomore year, and he must do it as the No. 1 option instead of No. 3 like he was last year behind the likes of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. He was the No. 3 receiver in the nation last year in terms of yards with 1,606 and tied for 32nd with nine touchdowns. The Buckeyes will now bring up a young class of wideouts this season, and he must be the new leader of one of the best wide receiver cores in the nation. Wide receivers don’t often make lists like these, but with the popularity that has grown around Smith-Njigba, he seems like the most likely candidate. Only three wide receivers have ever won the award, but with DeVonta Smith’s win in 2020, the door may have been opened to allow another one here in 2022.

Yet again, Ohio State has overwhelmingly high amounts of talent and hype coming into the season. Three guys that all have very real chances of making it to New York with a chance to take home what would be the college football leading eighth Heisman Trophy. Ohio State is currently tied at seven with Oklahoma and Notre Dame for the most all-time, despite just two being added to the Buckeye showroom in the last 40 years.

Could the Buckeyes send three guys to New York come December? The season is full of possibilities for Ohio State, and the only thing left to do at this point is to sit back and watch history unfold before our eyes.

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