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2023 Heisman Trophy Preview: Our experts make their picks on who wins the award

Incredibly, amazingly, we are now just 48 hours from the start of college football season - as Week 0 kick off this Saturday.

And with it, it's time to continue to ramp up our preseason content talking all things college football.

And today, it's time to talk Heisman.

With Caleb Williams taking the field on Saturday in Week 0 it only makes sense that we make our Heisman picks today, as our guys share who they think is taking home college football's most prestigious award!

Garrett Carr - Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

The Heisman race is one of the best parts of the college football season. There’s nothing like watching the race evolve over the course of the season. There will be someone who lights the world on fire in September that isn’t a factor in the race at the end (does anyone remember Kenny Hill?). And, there will be someone to come out of seemingly nowhere late in the season to factor in the conversation like Robert Griffin III did in 2011 when he won the award.

Last year, I chose USC quarterback Caleb Williams to win the Heisman Trophy. I thought that he would help turn that program around and get a lot of goodwill from doing so. And I knew that if he was having a good season, he would get a lot of buzz, given that he was the starting quarterback for one of the marquee programs in the country.

I could pick Caleb Williams again. After all, every sportsbook has him a pretty solid favorite at or around +500. Those are relatively short odds for a Heisman frontrunner. But, I’m not picking him, and it’s not because I’m trying to be a contrarian.

There’s a reason that only one winner has repeated, that being Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in 1974-1975, For years, underclassmen never won the award. The first sophomore to win the award was Tim Tebow in 2007, and the first freshman was Johnny Manziel in 2012. But, since then, a lot of players have had a chance to repeat, and none have been able to do it. Simply put, I think that returning winners are graded on a curve. Not only do they need to be the best player in the country. But they have to be better than the season they had the year before, while the team continues to have crazy success.

Caleb Williams will have a great season, but I named the Trojans my most overrated team in the country for a reason and the odds that Williams has a year that good again is small.

So, who will win? Enter Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers. Many will think this is a ridiculous pick. But, I truly think he’s going to win the award.

Let’s go back to how Caleb Williams won. First, he had a great season. That’s obviously a prerequisite. Ewers was up and down last year, but the former top-overall high school prospect has as much talent as anyone. And, he’s got a loaded skill position group led by Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell. Their offensive line might be the best in the country, too. He’s going to put up numbers.

And, I think Texas is going to be very good, good enough to make the College Football Playoff. The narrative of Texas being, finally, back will be the biggest story in all of college football this year. After he beats Alabama in Tuscaloosa in week 2, Ewers will be the favorite and will end up raising the trophy in Manhattan.

Jake Faigus - Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State

Jordan Travis is my pick to win the Heisman Trophy this season.

He showed just how dynamic he was as a playmaker last season. He had 3,214 passing yards and 417 rushing yards to go with 24 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, a 64 percent completion percentage, and seven rushing touchdowns. He’s a dual-threat quarterback, but the Seminoles are loaded at wide receiver, which will be able to help him passing-wise. Keon Coleman, Johnny Wilson, and Jaheim Bell will headline the pass-catchers that will help him look great too.

Not only is Travis dynamic on his own, but Heisman voters love narratives and storylines and Florida State as a team is going to be a massive storyline this season. The Seminoles are big favorites to finally win the ACC for the first time since Jimbo Fisher was the head coach. He also has big showcase games with the Seminoles too. It starts immediately in game one with a matchup against LSU in Orlando and then in late September the Seminoles visit Clemson and then in the back half of the schedule they play Miami at home and then Florida on the road to finish out the year.

It also helps Travis that the Seminoles should be very good overall, so it’d be rewarding the best player on, presumably, one of the best teams in college football and that is a storyline voters can get behind. Finally, the Seminoles run a version of the spread offense and that system is best at accentuating your playmaker’s strengths. The type of offense is a big reason why Travis can have the freedom to run as well as pass. He also has thrived in the hurry-up offense because of how much it keeps defenses on their heels.

Travis has everything working for him this season and it should result in a trip to New York and him raising the Heisman Trophy.

Aaron Torres - Sam Hartman, QB, Notre Dame

Truthfully, I'm sort of glad we chose Heisman as today's topic. Because my pick plays this weekend. And if he blows up, I don't want anyone saying, "Oh you just picked him because he had one, good Week 0 game (of course if he plays terribly, please ignore what I'm about to write next).

My pick? No, it's not Caleb Williams. But instead, Sam Hartman, the quarterback at Notre Dame, who plays Navy on Saturday.

First off, I just don't think the average college football fan understands how good this dude is. Because he played at Wake Forest he kind of got lost in the shuffle nationally, but when you throw for 38 touchdowns and 3,700 yards, and your numbers are slightly down from the year before, you know you're a baller.

Two, in a year where the race beyond Caleb Williams feels wide open, why not Hartman? He is going to put up prolific stats, and he is going to have winnable, high-profile games. Notre Dame is always on TV (literally) so that helps, with several marquee games, as the Irish face Ohio State, USC and Clemson this year. The first two are at home, so if he wins one or both of those games (in the process, potentially outdueling the reigning Heisman winner) than he can definitely pick up some momentum heading into November.

Also, as Jake said, Heisman voters love narratives. And while Notre Dame has made the playoff before, if they are in contention late, Hartman will be the story. Seriously, how easy it to envision the whole "Notre Dame was good, but could this finally be the year" narrative taking over the sport, again, if they are 7-1 or 8-1 heading into the home-stretch, very much in the thick of playoff contention.

Finally, let me say this: Above, I shared a video of Hartman gifting his entire team Beats by Dre headphones, a company that he has an NIL deal with. While that act in and of itself doesn't mean much (because who doesn't love free stuff) it says something else to me: That dude is just a veteran quarterback, who knows how to win over his teammates and a locker room.

It's clear he has the talent.

It's clear his teammates love him.

And it's clear he has the path to make a serious push.

Sam Hartman is my Heisman Trophy pick (again, unless he has a terrible game against Navy, then pretend you never read this!).

To read up on dark horse playoff contenders - click here

To read up on our most overrated teams - click here


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