The start of the college football season is still months away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for prognosticators to make early predictions for the Heisman Trophy Award. According to Pregame.com’s Brad Powers, both Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins have 7/1 odds to win the award via Station Casinos.
First Heisman Odds I've seen in Las Vegas @stationcasinos
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 7/1
JK Dobbins (RB Ohio St) 7/1
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 9/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan) 35/1
Tate Martell (QB Ohio St) 250/1
— Brad Powers (@BradPowers7) April 20, 2018
Taylor is coming off a fantastic freshman campaign, during which he rushed for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns on 299 carries. He earned Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and was a Freshman All-American (FWAA, ESPN, USA Today). He also finished sixth in Heisman voting.
Entering his sophomore season, Taylor is placing an emphasis on two areas: reducing fumbles and being a factor in the passing game. Taylor fumbled eight times and lost six of them in 2017.
“We’ve talked about different techniques,” running backs coach John Settle said. “I even kind of make it comical, talking about, ‘Scratch your chin. That’s how high we want the ball. Scratch your chin.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, OK.’ Everything that we do, there’s an added emphasis on ball security, whether we’re going through the bags and coming out of the bags.”
Dobbins, meanwhile, rushed for 1,403 yards and 7 touchdowns on 194 carries as a freshman in 2017. He was named to the Big Ten Second Team and eclipsed Maurice Clarett for most rushing yards by a freshman in Ohio State history.