Desmond Howard Picks ‘Darkhorse’ Candidate for Heisman

The Heisman Trophy race is up for grabs this season, with no one candidate separating himself from the pack.

For one college football analyst, ESPN’s Desmond Howard, that increases the chance of an unlikely winner.

Alabama’s Bryce Young entered the year as the seeming favorite, but with his team struggling relative to past years, his candidacy seems unlikely.

Other choices include Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker or Michigan’s Blake Corum.

But Howard, a former Heisman winner himself, is putting his money elsewhere.

His personal favorite is Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, an Auburn transfer who’s thrived in Eugene.

Heisman Trophy contender Bo Nix of the Oregon Ducks
TUCSON, AZ – OCTOBER 08: Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix #10 scrambles during the second half of a football game between the University of Oregon Ducks and the University of Arizona Wildcats on October 8, 2022 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, AZ. Nix could be a dark horse Heisman candidate. (Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

That may seem completely unjustified, but Nix has actually been tremendous since the season opening blowout loss to Georgia.


Howard’s noticed that too, as The Spun quoted from a College Football Live appearance: “He’s been playin lights out ever since that Georgia game.”

He continued: “I’m just really blown away by his mastery of the offense, the way he controls the game. He’s playing at a flawless, high level right now.”

Could Nix Really Win the Heisman?

As unlikely as it sounds, Howard has a point.

Nix has been a true dual-threat quarterback this year, with 457 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing. Not to mention his 2,495 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air.

Just a few weeks ago, Nix threw five touchdowns against a highly ranked, undefeated UCLA team.

Nix has proven himself as a true dual-threat weapon, logging 2,495 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions through the air, and 457 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

That said, there are a number of other candidates who could make a significant push to close the season.

USC’s Caleb Williams has been nearly perfect, with just one interception on the season against 28 passing touchdowns.

With high profile matchups against Notre Dame and UCLA upcoming, he’ll have several opportunities on the national stage.

Despite a poor performance against Northwestern, Stroud is still the likely favorite as the leader of an undefeated Ohio State team.

It’ll be a fascinating race to the finish. But one of the more surprising outcomes is that Nix still has a legitimate argument. No one would have believed in August that come early November, he’d still be a contender and Bryce Young would have significantly faded.

College football never ceases to surprise.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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