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DeShone Kizer is a Top Prospect and Heisman Contender, According to

He's not even officially the starter, and no one even knows who will take the majority of the snaps at Quarterback for Notre Dame this year. However, Daniel Jeremiah at has predicted a Heisman for DeShone Kizer.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It seems as if everyone - players, coaches, media members and fans - can't or won't even call DeShone Kizer "starting Notre Dame quarterback" right now. Over at, however, analyst Daniel Jeremiah is ready to call him something else: "Heisman winner".

When you're headline advertises "fearless predictions for top prospects", you can easily go out on that limb. All we know for sure is that both DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire will play quarterback under the lights for the Fighting Irish against the Texas Longhorns in next Sunday's opener. And it's not too much of a stretch to think that Kizer will probably get the "start" (which could mean anything from the first of rotating possessions or a great majority of the snaps with Zaire as a spell, who knows what Kelly has in mind). However, splitting time in the opener with the guy who won the starting spot at the position last year at this time isn't the only reason Jeremiah's pick is so bold. Kizer has either been an outlier or completely nonexistent in most experts' Heisman favorites lists, and there are reasons.

Plausibly, one reason is the uncertainty surrounding who will get the most time at the position, and how much early in-game performance will dictate that variable. While this hasn't stopped many other analysts from rating "Notre Dame quarterback, whoever that ends up being" as a potential top-10 quarterback in the nation, it does make it tough for any credible expert to throw Kizer's name in as a Heisman favorite. That's not to speak poorly of Jeremiah as an analyst, after all it's a bold prediction and we're all hoping he's right. In all reality, if a Notre Dame quarterback leads the team to the playoffs and puts up the numbers that Kizer is capable of, it's all but given that his name will be in the conversation.

However, the more probable reason is the returning talent across the NCAA football landscape in 2016. 2015 Heisman finalists Deshaun Watson and Christian McCaffrey are both back in action for Clemson and Stanford. Even the first man out in Heisman voting last year, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, is only a junior. Running backs Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb, of LSU and Georgia respectively, will get their opportunities to impress by virtue of facing those vaunted SEC defenses every week, looking to follow 2015 Heisman winner Derrick Henry as SEC running backs to win the Trophy. Throw in sky-high expectations for guys like J.T. Barrett, Dalvin Cook, Royce Freeman and Chad Kelly, and you've got a steep hill to climb.

The fact that Kizer's talent and past performances merit a mention in an article about "top prospects" can be easily lost in the hype, but it's also quite notable. It speaks to the talent under center at Notre Dame, and the overall talent on the offense. Is he Heisman-worthy? The Irish haven't had a Heisman finalist since Brady Quinn Manti Te'o (whose accolades are unfairly forgotten by so many people). Only time will tell, and we'll know sooner whether we'll see Kizer under center or if we'll see Zaire.