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3 ACC players among betting favorites for 2020 Heisman Trophy

Sports book William Hill released early odds for the 2020 Heisman Trophy this week. The favorites are mostly dominated by SEC quarterbacks; however, some ACC players, new and old, jump out, too.

Back for their third season together in Death Valley, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (No. 2) and Travis Etienne (No. 8) rank inside the top 10 in terms of odds. This marks the second year in a row that those two have entered the season as very real Heisman hopefuls.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is the odds on favorite, currently. Former Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman, now at Georgia, is a strong contender, too.

Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is in the mix as well.

As a junior in 2019, Etienne followed his master sophomore performance — 1,658 rushing yards and an ACC-record 24 rushing touchdowns — with another ridiculous effort. Etienne again eclipsed 1,600 rushing yards; he accounted for 23 total touchdowns.

Etienne posted eight 100-yard rushing performances, all with 17 or fewer carries.

Over the last 20 seasons of college football, only seven players have run for 1,600+ yards on fewer than 215 carries in the same season. That list includes Reggie Bush, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon and Matt Breida. Etienne is the only player to do that on more than one occasion.

For the second year in a row, Etienne was named ACC Player of the Year. Etienne, however, decided to return for his senior season, as opposed to entering the 2020 NFL Draft.

After leading Clemson to the national title as a freshman, Lawrence dealt with some inconsistencies early in his sophomore season. However, he eventually got going and finished with another monster year: 268-of-407 (65.8%) for 3,665 yards (9 yards per attempt) and 36 touchdown passes. Lawrence ran for nine touchdowns, too.

Back in January, King transferred from Houston to Miami, after months of vague misdirection. Now in place with a new offensive coordinator — Rhett Lashlee, who was brought in from SMU — King will look to replicate his 2018 performance.

While leading the Cougars during the 2018 season, King completed 63.5 percent of his passes (8.6 yards per attempted) for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also ran for 14 touchdowns that season.

 

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