2024 Heisman Trophy Candidates: Alabama QB Jalen Milroe Heads Early Contenders

    Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe leads an exciting cast of early potential 2024 Heisman Trophy candidates.

    Some might say that it is absolutely too early to talk about potential 2024 Heisman Trophy candidates. After all, we’re yet to close the door on the current college football campaign, with bowl season still to come and a champion to crown.

    However, there is no better time to start discussing the next outstanding playmakers, with these players headlining an early venture into the 2024 Heisman Trophy candidates to watch for.

    2024 Heisman Trophy Candidates

    Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe headlines the 2024 Heisman Trophy candidates and is a likely favorite to succeed Jayden Daniels as the winner of the award for the most outstanding player in college football.

    MORE: List of Heisman Trophy Winners by Year

    Who else could join Milroe as a contender for the Heisman next season?

    Jalen Milroe, QB, Alabama

    While Heisman voters absolutely got it right with Daniels this year, if voters had until after the College Football Playoff to vote, there’s a strong chance that Alabama quarterback Milroe would have at least earned a place in New York and perhaps even pushed the LSU quarterback all the way in the final voting.

    Milroe overcame a torrid start to the 2023 college football campaign and is arguably the form player heading into the 2024 season. With an extra season of experience combined with his natural gifts — insane arm talent and speed in a physical 6’2″, 220-pound frame — the Alabama standout could prove unstoppable for the Crimson Tide next year.

    Miller Moss, QB, USC

    While an official decision remains to be announced, it appears likely that Caleb Williams will depart for the 2024 NFL Draft, leaving a quarterback competition at the USC Trojans to decide the next starter. In line to get the QB1 job in the Holiday Bowl, Miller Moss has taken the majority of the non-Williams snaps this season and could fend off Malachi Nelson for the 2024 season.

    Given the nature of the USC offense, whoever starts will be considered an early 2024 Heisman Trophy contender. That candidacy is further enhanced by Lincoln Riley’s success rate at producing award-winning quarterbacks. Furthermore, Moss has been routinely praised from inside the program, with his practice performances so far described as “electric” and “poised.”

    Cameron Ward, QB, Destination Unknown

    At the time of writing, it was unclear as to where former Washington State quarterback Cam Ward would be playing in the 2024 college football season. Hell, he might not even be playing in college football at all, with the NFL Draft a distinct possibility for the supremely talented former Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year and 2021 Jerry Rice Award winner.

    If Ward lands in the right spot, there’s every chance he could be not only a 2024 Heisman Trophy contender, but the legitimate front-runner for the award. There are few players in college football that can match his ludicrous arm talent — both in terms of strength and sheer velocity generation — with the mind-boggling creativity that he possesses when out of structure.

    Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oregon

    Whether you credit Dan Lanning, Kenny Dillingham, or Will Stein for turning around the career of former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, it can’t be denied that playing for the Oregon Ducks turned him from an SEC afterthought into a legitimate Heisman contender and one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football over the past two seasons.

    Now, Lanning and Co. welcome a player who is already one of the most productive players in college football history to Eugene. Dillon Gabriel showed flashes of outstanding play verging on Heisman-worthy during the 2023 college football season at Oklahoma and will thrive behind a consistently fundamentally sound offensive line in Oregon next season.

    Ollie Gordon II, RB, Oklahoma State

    While being a running back Heisman winner is extremely rare, Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon II is a legitimate 2024 Heisman Trophy contender. In 2023, he was a juggernaut who trampled everyone in his path, putting up numbers akin to the last running back winner of the award, Alabama’s Derrick Henry.

    MORE: Ollie Gordon II Wins Doak Walker Award Winner

    As a result, he finished seventh in the voting for this year’s award, leading a trio of running backs in the top 10. Entering 2024 as a true freshman, a faster start to the year could help bolster his bid to win the 2024 Heisman Trophy. Gordon carried the ball just 19 times through the first three games this season, tallying 109 yards before exploding into life from there on out.

    Travis Hunter, DB/WR, Colorado

    Charles Woodson continues to be the only primarily defensive winner of the award for the most outstanding player in college football, and as the award continues to favor the quarterback position, the chances of anyone ever joining that exclusive club of one appear to get slimmer and slimmer.

    However, in Colorado’s Travis Hunter, there is at least a sliver of hope to see a defense-orientated player win the 2024 Heisman Trophy. A noted two-way standout, Hunter has an alluring athletic ability and innate knowledge of the game to be a route-jumping, catch-point menace on the defensive side of the ball while adding offensive value as a true WR.

    Matthew Sluka, QB, Destination Undecided

    Finishing off with a 2024 Heisman Trophy dark horse, former Holy Cross Crusaders quarterback Matthew Sluka is currently in the transfer portal and has offers from all over the FBS. While he’s currently favored to follow former head coach Bob Chesney to James Madison, Sluka has a slew of Power Five offers, too.

    Regardless of where he ends up, his NFL-ready frame and arm, combined with a genuine dual-threat ability, has seen him put up incredible numbers at the FCS level, and there’s every reason to believe that can translate to the highest level. A two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award for the best offensive player in the FCS, Sluka could contend for the ultimate honor next year.

    Marcus Carroll, RB, Missouri

    Coming off a campaign for Georgia State that saw him rush for 1,584 total yards and 13 touchdowns, Marcus Carroll transfers to a Missouri Tigers team that just had Cody Schrader finish eighth in Heisman voting.

    As the natural replacement, Carroll’s speed and physicality should be a dangerous combination in the SEC under highly-regarded offensive coordinator Kirby Moore.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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