Heisman Watch 2022 – Leading contenders, current odds, key moments and a Q&A with Michigan’s Blake Corum

We’re officially halfway through the regular college football season, so what better time to watch the Heisman Trophy race than now?

After several high-profile games over the past week, our Heisman clock has been turned on its head, with three new faces on the list since we last checked in – congratulations on making it again, CJ Stroud and Bryce Young.

This week, see our Heisman rankings, the week’s best Heisman moments, what to look out for in Week 8, and a Q&A with Michigan RB Blake Corum.

Voting methodology: 13 voters ranked their top five candidates, dropping five points for a first-place vote to one point for a fifth-place vote.


The five best candidates

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1. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

Total score: 61 (first place votes: 9)

Remarkable: Hooker has been the breakout star of the college football season so far, and his best came last Saturday against Alabama. He finished 21 of 30 for 385 yards and five touchdowns as the Volunteers defeated the Crimson Tide for the first time since 2006.

Heisman odds: +450

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

blank 2. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Total score: 56 (first place votes: 4)

Remarkable: Stroud has been the picture of consistency this season as the No. 2 Buckeyes started 6-0. Stroud has threw for 350 yards three times this season, including his most recent timeout when he threw for 361 yards and six touchdowns against Michigan State. He has thrown for more than 4 touchdowns in four games this season.

Heisman Quota: +100

blank 3. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Total score: 36 (First place votes: 0)

Remarkable: The Crimson Tide may have suffered a loss in Tennessee, but Young’s return was still worth watching. He threw for 455 yards and two touchdowns while keeping Alabama in play while Hooker lit the scoreboard. Young aims to be the second player in history to win back-to-back Heisman trophies.

Heisman Quota: +2000

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4. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA

Total score: 19 (First place votes: 0)

Remarkable: The Bruins got off to the best start of the program under Chip Kelly, and success begins with the quarterback. Thompson-Robinson made UCLA famous on September 30 when he threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in a 40-32 win over a top-ranked Washington team. If Thompson-Robinson wants to thoroughly engage in the Heisman conversation, it will do a great job in Eugene this week against Oregon.

Heisman odds: +1600

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5. Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Total score: 12 (First place votes: 0)

Remarkable: Similar to Young, one of Williams’ best performances of the season was lost. The Trojans fell to Utah late last week, but Williams threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns in the 43-42 loss. He also ran for 57 yards against the Utes.

Heisman Quota: +800

Other votes received (total points in parentheses): Blake Corum, RB, Michigan (8); Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (3)


Questions and Answers with Blake Corum

After Michigan’s 41-17 win over Penn State in Ann Arbor, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Chris Grandstaff spoke to Corum about his season and the Heisman.

ESPN: Reggie Bush has attended your last few games [as a Fox analyst]. How was your interaction with him?

BC: I’ve become really cool friends with Reggie over the past few weeks. I spoke to Reggie after every game. The respect is mutual. Reggie is one of the best running backs of all time, especially when you talk about college he pulled it off. He told me what he thought about my ability to cut and what a running back guy I am. He said I’m one of the best. He’s the best, so getting those words from him meant a lot. I spoke to them yesterday after the game and when he left the police escorted their cars and I walked out with fans and he saw me, he rolled down his window [and said], ‘Stay great.’ Then he said to me, ‘You’re the best running back in the nation.’ That meant a lot. If I could win the Heisman like Reggie did, that would be a blessing.

ESPN: Have you seen Charles Woodson at the Penn State game?

BC: Yes, I’ve met Charles Woodson a couple of times. I spoke to him before the game, he approached me. Desmond Howard, I’m really cool with him. I know a few people who used to play here.

ESPN: Obviously these two guys have won the biggest award that can be won at the Heisman. What would it mean to be in that mix and ultimately have a chance?

BC: It would be amazing, but I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m really focused on getting better. How can this team get better and keep winning? If you win, everyone looks at you. These awards, given at the end of the season, are at the end of the season for a reason. I will not win the Doak Walker [Award] Today I will not win the Heisman today. I have to keep producing, I have to keep eating, and that will take work. Obviously standing next to the greats on that wall would be a blessing. It would be a dream come true.

ESPN: What was your memory of the Heisman Trophy growing up? Which player do you remember the most?

BC: I don’t have a lot of Heisman memories because a quarterback usually wins. But when I decided on Michigan, I went on YouTube and actually watched it [Heisman] Ceremonies of Desmond and Charles. Obviously, Johnny Manziel, the money sign thing was cool, it was a big year, it was fun, everyone was cheering for him. He was a damn fine athlete.

ESPN: How do you see your role last year compared to what they are asking you to do this season?

BC: I see it as Donovan [Edwards] took over my role and I took over Hassan [Haskins’] Role. Hassan last year he set it up for me. He’s got these hard yards and then I come in and break a 50 yarder. It’s a bit different now because he didn’t really break a lot of 50-yarders. I’m still breaking some long ones but he was getting 20+ carries a game really inside the zone he wasn’t going out too much. I feel like I’m that thunder with lightning too. This is my role. I can take charge and then Donovan comes in and does his thing too. Last year I was a flash. Now I’m coming to the goal line, third and first, I’m in there as a powerback. Red zone, I’m in.

ESPN: How important was it to you to prove you could do that and still break a 60-yarder?

BC: It was very important. A lot of people have questioned my durability, maybe my size, it starts with my height [5-8]but at the end of the day i’m 210 [pounds], weighed 212 today. So the weight is not an issue. But getting 28-30 carries in the last four games I think has shown a lot to anyone who doubted it.

ESPN: Who have you tried to model your game after?

BC: I love Barry Sanders. He was a bit ahead of my time so I didn’t really get to see him on TV but I love watching him on YouTube how elusive he was and how he managed to get out of cuts and tackles. Break tackles, don’t get touched. I admire his style. Then when it comes to power, because I like inside zone, I like running up the middle, I’m not afraid of contact, so I like Marshawn Lynch. He likes being hit, he likes hitting people. He’s got this thing where he says, ‘Hit her over and over and over again.’ I like that mentality.

ESPN: You mentioned earlier that the Heisman is often a quarterback’s award. What would it mean to win as a running back?

BC: It would mean a lot because it’s something of a quarterback award. Apparently, [Michigan defensive end] Aidan [Hutchinson] went last year, didn’t have a chance to win it. if i can go [to New York] and win, I honestly don’t know what I would do. I just know it would mean the world to me. I definitely would have come back and given my offensive linemen and the big ol’ gift. If I could win it I don’t know what the emotions would be like. It would mean a lot, especially if another No. 2 at the University of Michigan won it. They may have to retire the jersey afterwards. I thought they already pulled it back to Charles just because of the legend he is, but if someone else won it with the #2 oh boy it would be a blessing.

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Blake Corum hits the 1-yard line with a 50-yard run. On the next game, he ended the driveoff with a short touchdown run.


The best Heisman moments of the past week

1. Let’s face it, Hooker’s overall performance against Alabama is why he’s #1 on the list this week. But here’s one of his many dimes from the 52-49 win.

2. When the Michigan Wolverines are looking at closeout games, they turn to Blake Corum.

3. It could have ended in a loss, but Bryce Young made many fans in Knoxville nervous after his performance against the Volunteers.


Heisman game of the week

#9 UCLA at #10 Oregon (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

As previously mentioned, if Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a true Heisman contender, this will be the game to show – until the USC matchup, of course. ESPN’s College GameDay travels to Eugene for the game, and with both teams in the top 10, UCLA coach Chip Kelly’s return to Oregon should be one of the most exciting games of the Pac-12 season. Oh, and Oregon quarterback Bo Nix isn’t too shabby either.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34823571/heisman-watch-2022-leading-contenders-current-odds-key-moments-qa-michigan-blake-corum Heisman Watch 2022 – Leading contenders, current odds, key moments and a Q&A with Michigan’s Blake Corum

Emma Bowman

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