Heisman Trophy Power Rankings: Predicting the Top 10 candidates for 2024

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
1 of 10

The Heisman Trophy will be awarded for the 89th time on Saturday, Dec. 9 on the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City. Either LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., or Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. will hoist the most prestigious individual award in college football.

Next season, however, none of those four Heisman Trophy finalists for 2023 will be in college football. The three quarterbacks have exhausted their eligibility while Harrison is surely gone to the NFL as a projected Top 5 pick. And that extends beyond that as only two players of those who finished Top 10 in Heisman voting appear to be heading back to college football for the 2024 season, assuming you believe J.J. McCarthy leaves Michigan for the NFL.

That opens up the 2024 Heisman Trophy race for a ton of newcomers and new faces who can etch their names in the history of this sport. But who should we be keeping our eyes peeled for in that regard?

Make no mistake, the transfer portal complicates things a bit as we could don't actually know the certain destination for some of these players, but these are the 10 best Heisman Trophy candidates to watch as we look ahead to the 2024 season.

Predicting the 10 best Heisman Trophy candidates for the 2024 season

443. 2024 Heisman RL3. . (Transfer Portal). Riley Leonard. QB. 10. player. . Riley Leonard

Former Duke Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard burst onto the scene under new head coach Mike Elko in the 2022 season with a monster campaign as a true sophomore. In 13 games, the former 3-star recruit completed 63.8% of his throws for 2,967 yards with 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions while rushing for 699 yards and 13 touchdowns.

That raised Leonard's stock a great deal coming into the 2023 season, but injuries ultimately marred the campaign for the quarterback. He played in seven games, but was hampered by an ankle injury for several of those contests and was eventually shut down for the rest of the year.

Then, along with Elko on his way back to Texas A&M to replace Jimbo Fisher, Riley Leonard has entered the transfer portal.

Unlike many of the other quarterbacks and potential Heisman candidates in the portal, we seem to know where Leonard is headed. Basically from the moment it was reported that he would be transferring, it's seemed like he's heading to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to replace Sam Hartman.

Hartman put up big numbers but there is reason to believe that the Irish could be stronger top-to-bottom around Leonard in addition to Leonard simply being a more dynamic playmaker than his likely predecessor in South Bend. Subsequently, if he can elevate Notre Dame to somewhere even close to College Football Playoff contention while producing at an elevated level in a better situation than what he had at Duke, Leonard could really make some noise.