USC quarterback Sam Darnold has the fourth-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy in 2017 after his outstanding redshirt freshman season.
At the tail end of his first season as a starter, Sam Darnold drew the some Heisman whispers, but it wasn’t until his record-setting performance in the 2017 Rose Bowl that the Trojan quarterback really launched himself into national discussions.
Now with the 2017 offseason just at its start, Darnold is among the Heisman Trophy favorites for the coming season.
Bovada released Heisman odds on Monday morning, crowning Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, a Heisman finalist in 2016, the favorite to win the prestigious trophy at 11/2.
Darnold checked in fourth with 9/1 odds behind Mayfield, Ohio State’s JT Barrett and defending Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.
As a redshirt freshman, Darnold lit up opposing offenses for 3,086 yards and 31 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He completed 67.2 percent of his passes and finished with one of the best quarterback ratings in the country at 161.07, ranking ninth.
Darnold sparked USC’s offense in 2016 with an impressive arm, great escapability and elite improvisational skills, helping the Trojans win nine-straight games to end the season after starting 1-3.
If his Heisman aspirations are to be fulfilled, neither Darnold nor the Trojans can afford another slow start, but USC’s schedule offers a more manageable road this coming season. Most importantly, the Trojans know their identity with Darnold at the helm this time around.
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There’s a few more familiar faces among the Heisman favorites. UCLA’s Josh Rosen has 12/1 odds coming back from injury for his junior campaign with the Bruins.
Washington’s Jake Browning was set at 10/1 along with the duo from Penn State, running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley, both of whom showed their chops against USC in the Rose Bowl.
Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and Bo Scarbrough were added with 12/1 and 15/1 odds respectively.
The Trojans will face to quarterbacks with 35/1 odds at making a Heisman run this season as well, with Texas’ Shane Buechele and Washington State’s Luke Falk on the board.