Ranking the 10 best early Heisman Trophy candidates for 2023

Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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2023 Heisman Trophy candidates
Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers. (Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports) /

With Caleb Williams set to win the Heisman Trophy this season, we’re looking ahead to the best 2023 Heisman candidates led by the returning USC QB.

To be honest, there was little drama heading into Saturday night’s 2022 Heisman Trophy ceremony. While there are four finalists in New York City for the ceremony — Caleb Williams (USC), Max Duggan (TCU), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Stetson Bennett IV (Georgia) — it would’ve been the shock of all shocks if Williams wasn’t hoisting the hardware at the end of the night.

Because of that, it’s only natural that we start taking a peak at the next college football season and the 2023 Heisman Trophy candidates that could emerge. Stroud is likely gone for the NFL, Duggan could follow (which is why he’s not included in our Top 10), and Bennett has exhausted his NCAA eligibility.

So who is set to take up the mantle and make a run for the most prestigious award in college football next season? These are the top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates for the 2023 campaign — but not before we shout out a few honorable mentions.

2023 Heisman Trophy candidates, Honorable Mentions: Harold Perkins (EDGE, LSU), Kendall Milton (RB, Georgia), Brock Bowers (TE, Georgia), Dillon Gabriel (QB, Oklahoma), Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State), Drew Allar (QB, Penn State), DJ Uiagalelei (QB, TBD – Transfer Portal)

Heisman Trophy Power Rankings: 10 best early candidates for 2023

Quinn Ewers has the talent and putting it together could mean a Heisman Trophy

After transferring from Ohio State as a redshirt freshman, the hype around the mullet was big time and Quinn Ewers undoubtedly flashed reasons as to why. He was masterful in the first quarter against Alabama and had Texas in line to pull off the upset early before he suffered an injury that forced him out of the rest of the game and then three more.

On the whole, Ewers finished his first season with the Longhorns completing 56.6% of his throws for 1,808 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.

With that said, Texas is set to lose running back Bijan Robinson to the NFL, which will put a lot more on Ewers’ plate. He has the talent to capitalize on that and make a run at this award, especially with all-world recruit Arch Manning coming behind Ewers and pushing him.

Donovan Edwards can step into Blake Corum’s role and into the Heisman race

Let’s get this out of the way: If Blake Corum makes the decision to return to Michigan instead of going to the NFL Draft, this will be his candidacy and, frankly, he might be higher on the list than his teammate, Donovan Edwards. But even still, Edwards has proven in relief of Corum that he is going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate in his own right whenever he takes full control of the backfield.

In 10 games this season, Edwards rushed for 872 yards and seven scores on just 117 carries while also catching 17 passes for 192 yards and two more scores. More impressive, though, was his performance against Ohio State and in the Big Ten Championship Game as he rushed for 401 yards on 47 carries for three touchdowns in those two games. If he can have that kind of showing over a full season as the lead back for the Wolverines, he’ll make a strong case to, at the very least, end up in NYC.