Five Sleeper Candidates For The 2024 Heisman Trophy

It would be somewhat surprising if any of these five players walked away with the hardware this December in New York. However, each of them has a shot to at least get invited to the ceremony. A lot also depends on how the front runners like Quinn Ewers, Jalen Milroe, and Will Howard fare during the upcoming season.

Five Sleepers For The 2024 Heisman Trophy

Cameron Ward, Quarterback, Miami (FL)

Cameron Ward has been remarkably consistent throughout his two years in Pullman leading the Washington State Cougars. He’s thrown for more than 20 touchdowns every season. Last year, he threw for over 3,700 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His rushing yards were subpar for him but he still found the end zone eight times on the ground.

The fans in Miami are counting on a big season from Ward. Of the players on this list of sleeper Heisman candidates, he is the most accomplished. What makes him a sleeper is that he isn’t being mentioned as one of the favorites. His game suggests he should be.

Nico Iamaleava, Quarterback, Tennessee

Nico Iamaleava is what we’ll call a deep sleeper because he’s only provided a small sample size so far. However, we like what we see. In the blowout over Iowa in the bowl game, he showed a lot of poise for someone with such limited experience. Finding the end zone three times on the ground only adds excitement for his prospects this season.

Iamaleava also has a stud lead running back in Dylan Sampson to lean on. Sampson will have something to prove after playing third fiddle in the backfield last year.

One of the big keys to the season for Iamaleava is how much of the training wheels the coaching staff is willing to take off. When you’re a deep sleeper Heisman candidate you have to put up big numbers to get noticed.

Garrett Greene, Quarterback, West Virginia

It is very surprising that Garrett Greene so far isn’t listed as among the favorites for the Heisman. One thing that works against him coming into this season as a potential Heisman candidate is his low number of passing attempts which obviously affects his overall stats. However, his almost nine yards per attempt is very impressive and he threw for 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

He also hadn’t played much in Morgantown until last season. His trajectory is headed only upwards. Standing under six feet means he has to play big to garner the attention needed to get into the Heisman mix.

Greene’s performance against North Carolina in the bowl game was very impressive as he took home MVP honors. One thing Greene will need to do to even be a part of the Heisman conversation is to engineer wins. The floor for winning the trophy seems to be about nine wins. Greene will need more than that to get a plane ticket to the Big Apple.

Ollie Gordon II, Running Back, Oklahoma State

This is bordering on the ridiculous. Ollie Gordon II rushed for over 1,600 yards last season and won The Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back and he is nowhere to be found on a list of Heisman odds for this season.

Gordon is an absolute beast. He’s 6’1″, 211 lbs, runs by people, around them, and through them. He also had 21 rushing touchdowns last season. Those are Blake Corum-type numbers. Corum didn’t get any love from the Heisman voters last year so we shouldn’t expect Gordon to either, but he should.

If Gordon can match last season’s production he should get more attention than he did in 2023. The Cowboys certainly will need him to be the stud that he is.

Byrum Brown, Quarterback, South Florida

Late in the 2022 season, Byrum Brown was way down the depth chart. Injuries and poor play from those above him thrust him into the starting lineup for 2023. To say that Brown never looked back is an understatement. He threw for over 3,200 yards with 26 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also ran for 11 touchdowns.

If he can reduce the picks, he can absolutely be a legitimate Heisman candidate. He was lights out in the bowl game blowout over Syracuse.

Since Brown plays for a team that gets far less attention than even a West Virginia, he will need to put up crazy numbers to get an invite to New York. However, this guy has all of the tools to make noise in this year’s race and is a very good bet to play at the next level. Let’s not forget that he has a very limited amount of experience playing in college and will only get better the more he plays.

That’s our list of the top five sleepers for this year’s Heisman Trophy. A lot of things will have to go right for any of them to have a chance let alone win it.

The only thing that comes close to the enjoyment of watching college football is debating about it. Let’s get psyched for next season!

Main Image: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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