10. LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Leonard Fournette’s stat line against a good Wisconsin defense wouldn’t justify such a deep decline in the Heisman rankings without context. He rushed for 23 times for 138 yards, caught three passes for 38 and did so despite playing below 100 percent.
Add the context of LSU’s other offensive woes, however, and the same issues that prevented Fournette from even reaching New York a season ago still linger. If anything, the issues LSU has passing, and Cam Cameron’s conservative play-calling, are more pronounced through one week this year.
The Tigers need to fix the pieces around Fournette, and fast, for the talented junior to get back near the front of the Heisman pack.
9. NOTRE DAME QB DeSHONE KIZER
DeShone Kizer’s arguably the only player to have bolstered his Heisman candidacy in a loss. The thrilling Notre Dame-Texas contest Sunday night featured several noteworthy performances — Longhorns running back D’Onta Foreman was stellar, albeit somewhat overshadowed by quarterbacks Shane Buechele and Tyrone Swoopes — but Kizer’s was the starring, individual showing. He passed for five touchdowns and rushed for a sixth, almost singlehandedly powering the Irish’s comeback from down three scores in the third quarter.
Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, who does his own Heisman Top 5 each week, gushed about Kizer’s performance. He wrote Kizer “has blossomed into a guy that looks he could be a Heisman contender before his time’s done in South Bend.”