This year's Heisman race is starting to take shape. It's early -- way early -- but we have a clear leader. Then again, Leonard Fournette didn't run away with the Heisman last year like it looked like he would. Just like Geno Smith and Denard Robinson didn't go on to win it after dazzling early starts either ...
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Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, QB
Tech's D is still a mess, but the strong-armed quarterback -- probably the most gifted QB to ever play in the Air-Raid system -- is putting up jaw-dropping numbers. He's thrown for 14 TDs and run for four more. He's also completed over 71 percent of his passes after lighting up La. Tech to give him almost 1,500 passing yards through three games.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY SportsThomas Shea
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, LB/DB/WR/KR
The former five-star recruit backed up Jim Harbaugh's claim that he's the most versatile football player in the country as the Wolverines rallied to beat Colorado. Peppers had nine tackles, 3.5 TFLs, a quarterback hurry, 24 yards rushing and 180 return yards (that included a 56-yard punt return for a TD).
Peppers is pulling off a very rare statistical double right now: he leads the nation in TFLs (9.5) and also is tops in punt return yardage (173 on a 21.6-yard average).
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J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, QB
He was razor-sharp in the Buckeyes' domination of host OU Saturday night, throwing four TDs (and no picks) to go with 74 yards rushing. Better still, his leadership of a team that is very young deserves mention. So far he has 10 TDs passing, just one INT and has also rushed for three more touchdowns.
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Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, RB/KR
He was his usual terrific self as Stanford whipped USC. McCaffrey went for 260 all-purpose yards in a game that was never in much doubt.
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Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB
The spectacular sophomore put on a show carving up FSU in a 43-point romp. Jackson made the Noles look like Syracuse. Last year, FSU only allowed one rush of 30 yards or longer in 13 games. On Saturday, Jackson broke off two such runs against FSU. He now has 18 TDs (10 rushing and eight passing) and has done that in about about 10 quarters of action.