College Football’s dark horse Heisman Trophy candidates in 2022

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dark Horse candidates for the most prestigious individual award in all of College Football, the Heisman Trophy.

With college football right around the corner, there is no better time than now to dive into potential Heisman Trophy dark horse candidates.

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college football and always starts with such a wide field to start the year. While a defensive player has not won the Heisman since Charles Woodson in 1997, there is always a handful of guys on that side of the ball that are candidates.

With that being said, offensive players have a must higher chance to win this award due to the stats they can put up and the overall impact a single player can make on that side of the ball.

Since 2000, there have only been four seasons where the winner of the Heisman Trophy has not been a quarterback. Out of those four non-quarterbacks, three were running backs (Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, Reggie Bush) and one was a wide receiver (DeVonta Smith). Considering Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy vacated due to NCAA Rule Violations, there were only three non-quarterback winners and all three attended the University of Alabama.

With so many candidates out there who could be the dark horse that takes home the Heisman Trophy?

QB – Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss

The USC transfer, Jaxson Dart, is now the heir to the throne in Oxford, with hopes of taking over where Matt Corral left off. Ole Miss was in the top 7 in all of College Football and No. 1 in the SEC last year when it came to yards per game, averaging 492.5 yards per game. Dart was a Freshman last year that saw action in six games due to injuries to upper-classman, Kedon Slovis.

In those six games, Dart looked good in those appearances and totaled up 1,353 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions. While these aren’t the most eye-popping stats, the former highly recruited quarterback looks to make an impact on the Rebels’ offense.

What makes Dart a great valued dark horse candidate is the improvements to this Ole Miss team in the off-season. Kiffin made it a big deal to go out and bring in defensive guys to play in addition to a high-powered offense.

This was a team that finished the season ranked 11th in the country and is looking to compete for an SEC Title.

If Dart can win the big games and lead this Ole Miss team to a successful season, there is no reason he wouldn’t be invited to the ceremony in New York with a real shot at winning the Heisman Trophy.