Heisman Watch: Lawrence, Etienne and a Clemson takeover


Welcome to our fourth Heisman Watch of the 2020 college football season. Throughout the season, 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

Total points: 73 (first-place votes: 13/15)

Notable: Lawrence had four touchdowns in a blowout win over Miami on Saturday — three in the air and one rushing. Through four games, he has yet to throw an interception while leading the No. 1 Tigers to the top ranking.

Quotable: “Lawrence is the clear top quarterback in this class, a can’t-miss prospect with elite upside.” — Mel Kiper Jr.

Total points: 36 (first-place votes: 2)

Notable: On Saturday, Etienne scored a TD in the 39th game of his career — more than any other player in college football history. And the season isn’t over yet for Clemson’s record-setting back.

Quotable: “There is not a more dynamic running back in college football than Etienne, who had 149 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to go with eight catches for 73 yards through the air.” — David M. Hale

Total points: 27 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: Fields and Ohio State kick off their season in just under two weeks, which will give the Buckeyes QB a chance to climb up everyone’s Heisman boards if he performs as well as expected.

Quotable: “I’m really excited to see Fields in Year 2 as the Buckeyes’ starter, and I want to see him take a step forward in his decision-making and decisiveness.” — Mel Kiper Jr.

Total points: 26 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: Jones continued to show he’s more than just Tua Tagovailoa’s backup, and on Saturday helped Bama score (63!) points in a win over Ole Miss. He threw for 417 yards total and two touchdowns.

Quotable: “I think [the offense] did a marvelous job of taking the air out of the ball, scoring about every time we had the opportunity to.” — Nick Saban

Total points: 22 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: The Gators suffered their first loss of the season, but Trask did his part to give Florida a chance to win. He tossed for 312 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 14 on the year — in only three games.

Quotable: “He’s the total package. He has a big, 6-[foot-]5 frame. He can make every throw, from showing touch on short routes to showing strength on go routes.” — Mel Kiper Jr.



Najee Harris runs all over Ole Miss’ defense, scoring five touchdowns on 206 rushing yards in Alabama’s 63-48 win.

Total points: 16 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: The Alabama offense amassed a whopping 723 yards in Saturday’s win over Ole Miss, and Harris ran for 206 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 9 yards on 23 carries.

Quotable: “They’ve got probably the best back in the country, if not one of the best backs in the country.” — Georgia head coach Kirby Smart

Total points: 11 (first-place votes: 0)

Notable: Pitts had another strong performance in an upset loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, scoring a touchdown to run up his tally to seven TDs on the season.

Quotable: “He’s a true matchup piece in the NFL, and even though Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth is a more complete prospect, Pitts is making a real case out of the gate for TE1 in the 2021 class.” — Todd McShay

Others receiving votes:

Total points in parentheses: Zach Wilson, BYU (4); Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (3); Sam Ehlinger, Texas (2); Sam Howell, North Carolina (2); Shane Buechele, SMU (1); Breece Hall, Iowa State (1); Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech (1)

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