College Football

The Heisman candidates and dark horse contenders for every conference

QB Michael Pratt | Tulane

The 2023 college football season is almost here. Before the season kicks off, let’s take a look at some of the top Heisman candidates — and a few dark horses — from every FBS conference.


  • Top candidate
    • QB Michael Pratt | Tulane
  • Contenders

The American Athletic Conference has two talented quarterbacks who should have their teams in contention for New Year’s Six Bowls in Michael Pratt and Frank Harris. Pratt is the preseason leader from the conference after leading the Green Wave to a Cotton Bowl win last year.

RANKINGS: Preseason AP Poll | Every college football ranking


QB Jordan Travis | Florida State
  • Top candidate
    • QB Jordan Travis | Florida State
  • Contenders
    • QB Cade Klubnik | Clemson
    • RB Will Shipley | Clemson
    • QB Drake Maye | North Carolina
  • Dark horse
    • DE Jared Verse | Florida State

Quarterback Jordan Travis has plenty of hype surrounding him and preseason-No. 8 Florida State entering 2023. Travis could be the Heisman favorite after September, thanks to potential top-10 contests against LSU and Clemson. Speaking of Clemson, running back Will Shipley is the best player on the Tigers, while quarterback Cade Klubnik could take the next step after a full offseason as the starting quarterback.

One can’t sleep on potential top NFL draft pick Drake Maye at North Carolina either. If Maye can have the Tar Heels in the ACC title hunt in November, he could have the wins to back up Heisman-worthy numbers.

The dark horse Heisman contender in the ACC is Jared Verse. Verse is arguably the best edge rusher in college football, but he doesn’t play the headlining quarterback position at Florida State. Nonetheless, Verse could overtake Travis as the lead Heisman contender on the Seminoles at some point this season.

HEISMAN: Every winner and runner-up since 1935 | Colleges with the most Heisman Trophy winners

Big 12

QB Quinn Ewers | Texas
  • Top candidate
  • Contenders
    • QB Jalon Daniels | Kansas
    • WR Xavier Worthy |…

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