A small sampling of Heisman Trophy voters shows a clear early-season favorite: LSU tailback Leonard Fournette.
USA Today surveyed 26 Heisman voters who work for Gannett newspapers and television stations. Of the 26, Fournette received 23 first-place votes, WWL-TV reported Monday in a story by Gannett’s Glenn Guilbeau. Georgia tailback Nick Chubb was second with the other three first-place votes.
The winner is chosen at the end of the season by a vote of 870 media voters, previous Heisman winners and a fan survey, which counts as one vote.
The story quotes Billy Cannon, who won LSU’s only Heisman Trophy in 1959, as saying Fournette is the first LSU player since Cannon to have a legitimate shot at the trophy. “If Leonard Fournette doesn’t get the Heisman Trophy, they ought to quit giving it,” he said, paraphrasing the late Bear Bryant’s comment about Texas A&M halfback John David Crow, who won the Heisman in 1957.
On Saturday, in a 45-21 rout of Auburn, Fournette had a host of memorable runs during his 228-yard day. For his efforts, Fournette was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and the Walter Camp Football National Player of the Week.
The No. 8 Tigers will take on Syracuse at 11 a.m. Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.
Meanwhile, odds to win the Heisman, released this week, show Fournette as the frontrunner, with 11/2 odds.