Sports books have been releasing their odds on who will win 2020’s Heisman Trophy. There are several Cardinals being listed and any of them could become the second Cardinal ever to win it should it happen.
While the good people at Sports Betting Dime don’t have any listed at the moment as a front runner, they are all showing up on the board. Those Cardinals showing up on the list are Micale Cunningham, Javian Hawkins, and Tutu Atwell. Though at long odds, each player’s 2019 production shows they are worthy to be on the list.
Micale Cunningham enters 2020 as the presumptive starter at QB. Last season, the Alabama native put together quite an impressive season despite not starting the first couple of games and missing significant time due to injuries in others. Cunningham three for 2061 yards and 22 TDs with only 5 interceptions. He also ran for 482 yards and 6 TDs. It’s important to remember this was in limited time.
Micale Cunningham fell one pass attempt short of qualifying for national rankings for passer rating. Otherwise, his 194.45 rating this season would rank second in FBS behind Joe Burrow's 204.60 rating.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) December 31, 2019
This is important to note as well. Cunningham, according to stat guru Kelly Dickey, fell literally one pass attempt short of qualifying as the second most efficient passer in NCAA Football. His 194.45 passer rating would’ve been second to only Joe Burrow. You know, the Joe Burrow that had one of the greatest seasons as a passer in NCAA history and won the Heisman? Yeah, that guy. Our QB was just behind him.
With Cunningham’s dual threat abilities, he could easily work is way into the Heisman conversation. Cunningham has to stay healthy and improve his long ball, but it is entirely possible he can find himself in NYC in December.
Redshirt sophomore Javian Hawkins had one of the most productive seasons any RB has ever had for Louisville. The Titusville, FL native broke the UofL school record for rushing yards by a RB with 1525 yards. This was also a new freshman rushing record. He tallied 9 rushing TDs as well. His best single game was a 233 yard and 1 TD performance against Syracuse.
With the Scott Satterfield offense being heavily reliant on the rushing attack and all of the players now having experience in it, I think Hawkins could have a huge year. It isn’t inconceivable that he could rush for 2000 yards. If that happens, it’s not inconceivable that Hawkins is a Heisman finalist.
Junior WR Tutu Atwell is one of the fastest, shiftiest players in the nation. The numbers he put up last season were quite something. He was a big play threat every time he touched the ball. Atwell had 1272 yards receiving and 12 receiving TDs. He also threw for a TD pass in the bowl game. Atwell was arguably the go-to receiver for the Cards in 2019.
With Atwell, he could have an even bigger year in 2020. He actually could’ve had more receiving yards and TDs, but it he had a few drops early on. However, by the end of the year he was one of the most sure-handed receivers on the team. I expect Atwell won’t have near as many drops and, consequently, could have an even bigger season. 1500 yards is not entirely out of the question. If that’s the case, and the TD numbers also increase, Atwell could definitely make a case for the Heisman.
Louisville Football has three long shot, but legit, contenders for the Heisman. If their play is consistent and they avoid injuries, there’s no doubt Micale Cunningham, Javian Hawkins, and/or Tutu Atwell could represent Louisville in NYC. There’s even a chance they could win that trophy and make Louisville a two-time Heisman school. Regardless, this should be a fun upcoming season.