Perhaps unsurprisingly, quarterbacks dominate the preseason list of favorites to win college football’s highest honor. Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Downtown Athletic Club’s most recent honoree, is a 7-to-1 favorite to repeat. USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold, who the Irish will likely face again Oct. 21 at home, and Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield are also 7-to-1 favorites.
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (10-to-1), Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning (12-to-1), Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12-to-1), Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (15-to-1), Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts (15-to-1), Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph (15-to-1) and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (15-to-1) round out the top 10.
Wimbush has had just 28 snaps (23 run / 5 pass) under center for the Irish, which is too small of a sample size to make any legitimate comparisons. The team racked up 278 yards and two touchdowns in garbage time against the Massachusetts Minutemen and Pittsburgh Panthers with Wimbush in the ballgame, although the then-freshman also coughed up the football once.
If Wimbush does manage to defy the oddsmakers, Tom Lemming may want to consider dropping his national recruiting gig for CBS Sports and opening a psychic hotline.
On Wimbush’s signing day, Lemming said:
“He’s got a great arm. Precision passer. Terrific runner. Team leader. He’s got the skills to be a Heisman candidate in three years at Notre Dame. That’s how good I think he is. I think also his ceiling is higher than [Everett] Golson or anyone on the team right now.”
Here’s how Vegas oddsmakers pegged the pre-season Heisman candidacies of Irish quarterbacks:
- 2016: DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire were both 28-to-1 favorites
- 2015: Malik Zaire was a 50-to-1 favorite; Everett Golson, after his transfer to Florida State, was a 14-to-1 favorite.
- 2014: Golson was a 14-to-1 favorite.
- 2013: I can find no evidence that Vegas oddsmakers offered a line on Tom(my) Rees.