Heisman watch: Mac Jones closing on Kyle Trask but Trevor Lawrence lurks

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Heisman watch
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The Heisman watch goes another round with Mac Jones hot on Kyle Trask’s trail, Trevor Lawrence lurking and Jaret Patterson crashing the Heisman race.

Not that this is a surprise to anyone but the Heisman Trophy race is starting to be affected by COVID-19 as college football at large keeps contending with the virus. The fact that four of the players in our Heisman watch rankings for Week 13 didn’t take the field on Friday or Saturday, three due to postponements or cancelations, speaks to that. And Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields might be the one hit the hardest.

The Buckeyes scheduled matchup against Illinois was called off due to an outbreak in Columbus, the second time this year OSU has seen a game be canceled. With the Big Ten already having a shortened season, however, that continues to shrink the opportunities for Fields to truly make his mark, especially coming off of his worst game of the year and with Kyle Trask and Mac Jones not giving an inch.

So with Fields and others out of action, Week 13 was an opportunity for candidates to make a move. With that in mind, let’s check in on the Heisman watch once again with our top 10 ranking

Heisman watch candidate No. 10: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

It may be strange to say, though I’ve certainly said something similar before, but Najee Harris is hurt in the Heisman race by how good the Alabama offense is. Saturday’s Iron Bowl victory over Auburn was a prime example of that. Because even though the running back was impressive, the passing game was so prolific that he truly didn’t have that big of a role to play for the Tide.

Harris got only 11 carries in this game, though he did take those touches for 96 yards and a touchdown while also gaining 34 yards on a pair of receptions. For the year, he has an incredible 17 rushing touchdowns but just 893 rushing yards to his credit. On any other team with the way Harris is playing, he’d be in the top five of these rankings. But in Tuscaloosa, he’s simply overshadowed.

Heisman watch candidate No. 9: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma Sooners are starting to hit their stride and last week’s win in Bedlam was a clear example of that. The young signal-caller starred in the 41-13 victory, going 17-of-24 for 301 yards and four touchdowns while adding a rushing score as well. So it’s a shame that their Week 13 matchup with West Virginia got postponed.

Even still, Rattler’s first season at the helm of the offense in Norman has been increasingly impressive with each game. He’s now got 2,319 yards with 22 touchdowns and six scores while completing 68.1 percent of his throws and adding four more trips to the end zone on the ground. It may be too little too late for 2020 but Rattler is clearly establishing himself as a Heisman Trophy favorite in years to come.