USC quarterback Caleb Williams may have just finished celebrating his 2022 Heisman Trophy win, but he could have a chance to reach even more rarified air in 2023.
Williams, who still must play another college football season before turning pro, is the early favorite to win the award at FOX Bet.
If the star quarterback captures the coveted award in back-to-back years, he would become just the second player to accomplish this feat. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin did it almost 50 years ago, in 1974 and 1975.
USC’s Caleb Williams wins the Heisman Trophy, Lincoln Riley’s QB system
Joel Klatt reacts to USC Trojan quarterback Caleb Williams winning the 2022 Heisman Trophy.
The 2022 season was the first for both Williams and head coach Lincoln Riley at USC, as both player and coach left Oklahoma to take their talents West. And the move was successful for SC. The Trojans finished as the Pac-12 runner-up with an 11-2 record — a seven-win improvement from 2021. The 6-foot-1 sophomore finished with 544 first-place votes and 2,031 total points in the 2022 Heisman vote.
And Caleb undoubtedly earned every one of those votes. He threw for 4,075 yards with a 66.1% completion rate, rushed for 372 yards, and scored 47 total touchdowns — 37 passing and 10 running. So it is no surprise that Williams leads the way-too-early hypothetical 2023 Heisman Trophy odds at FOX Bet.
2023 Heisman Futures (hypothetical odds via FOX Bet)
- Caleb Williams (USC): +500 (bet $10 to win $60 total)
- Drake Maye (North Carolina): +800 (bet $10 to win $90 total)
- Michael Penix Jr. (Washington): +1000 (bet $10 to win $110 total)
- Arch Manning (Texas): +2500 (bet $10 to win $260 total)
*Odds as of 12/19/22
“Williams will undoubtedly be the favorite to repeat in Year Two of Lincoln Riley in Southern California,” FOX Bet Sports Trader Matthew Griffe said.
But there are three other QBs on the hypothetical odds board who also deserve a look.
Drake Maye and Michael Penix Jr. had stellar 2022 seasons and received Heisman votes. Penix Jr. transferred to Washington from Indiana and helped engineer a massive turnaround for the Huskies in his first year with the team. His efforts helped him get 114 total points and nine first-place votes. Tar Heel Drake Maye received 42 points and four first-place votes after leading North Carolina to the ACC championship game as a redshirt freshman.
RELATED: Arch Manning’s gambling impact on Texas
The fourth name on the list, however, is the biggest surprise. Arch Manning is technically still in high school and has yet to even play a snap in practice at the college football level.
But the Texas commit is considered one of the best quarterback prospects in a generation, and that’s at least in part due to his last name.
Arch is Peyton and Eli Manning’s nephew, Hall-of-Famer Archie Manning’s grandson, and his dad Cooper Manning is a FOX NFL Kickoff personality. Young Manning has had the benefit of learning from the NFL legends in his own family from an early age.
Could that translate into some early Heisman hype?
RELATED: Why Arch Manning is the right fit for Texas
“His last name is the name as far as quarterbacks are concerned,” the oddsmaker continued. “Arch Manning does not have the starting job in Texas quite yet. But current starter Quinn Ewers has struggled, so the spotlight could be on the third generation of the Manning dynasty as Arch looks to start his college career.”
From USC’s battle-tested Williams to Texas’ up-and-coming star Manning, who should bettors really consider when it comes to early Heisman futures?
For that, we turned to FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre:
The Trojans are absolutely loaded next season, but history is working against Williams repeating as the Heisman Trophy winner. The last guy to do it was Griffin nearly 50 years ago. The schedule is favorable for Williams, as the Trojans have only two true road tests at Notre Dame — which will almost certainly open as a top-10 team — and at Oregon. Williams won’t sneak up on anyone this year and will have to handle the burden of being the reigning Heisman winner and the favorite to be the first player taken in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The biggest surprise in college football in 2022, Maye looked like an NFL quarterback as a true freshman. He vastly outperformed his No. 147 overall recruit rating from Rivals. Maye did hit something of a freshman wall late. He went 0-3 to close the regular season and had just one touchdown pass and four interceptions in surprising losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. Then there was the blowout loss against Clemson. Did defenses figure him out?
The former Indiana quarterback surprised some in the NFL by staying in school for one more year, but Washington’s offense should have a ton of success in 2023 as a result. His top receivers, Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan are back. If Penix Jr. stays healthy, the almost-23-year-old has a chance to be in the mix for the award heading into November.
It might sound fun to have some money on Manning to win the Heisman, but there is a decent chance he does not even beat out Quinn Ewers for the starting job in Austin. From that perspective, save your money. That said, if Manning does win the job and starts hot in Steve Sarkisian’s offense, you’ll be kicking yourself for missing the boat.
Long shot — Jayden de Laura (Arizona)
He isn’t mentioned in these hypothetical Heisman scenarios, but people should keep an eye on Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura. Maybe I’m biased from watching him out West this season, but the Washington State transfer was electrifying for the Wildcats. de Laura single-handedly kept Arizona close against Washington and USC and beat UCLA. If and only if that offense puts up historical numbers, Jayden could be a serious contender.
Keep an eye on his odds to win the award once Heisman odds officially drop because he’s definitely a long-shot bet worth a sprinkle.
Keep checking FOX Bet to find out how the exciting early Heisman future market unfolds!
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