Facebook Twitter

Could Utah’s Cam Rising jump into the Heisman conversation this year?

SHARE Could Utah’s Cam Rising jump into the Heisman conversation this year?
Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising, wearing white, warms up

Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising (7) warms up prior to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Could Rising, a junior, enter the Heisman Trophy conversation in the 2022 college football season. One ESPN writer believes he could.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Cam Rising had a breakout 2021 season, leading the Utah football team to its first Pac-12 championship, first Rose Bowl appearance and a top 15 finish in The Associated Press poll.

Now the junior has the chance to build upon his legacy, and one national sports writer believes that could include some talk revolving around the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the nation’s best college football player.

ESPN’s David M. Hale ranked each of the 131 quarterback situations at the FBS level, and things are looking rosy for Utah and Rising.

Is Cam Rising a Heisman Trophy candidate?

  • Hale broke each FBS QB situation into tiers, and he put Rising in Tier 2, titled “The Heisman waiting room.”
  • Joining Rising in that tier are NC State’s Devin Leary and Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke.
  • Of Rising, Hale wrote, “Like Van Dyke, Rising didn’t open the year as Utah’s starter, but once he took over, he was superb, finishing just shy of 3,000 total yards with 26 touchdowns while going 9-2 as the starter. The Utes scored 79 points in those two losses, by the way.”

Who are the leading Heisman candidates in 2022?

  • Hale’s Tier 1 — also known as the “Heisman or bust” highest tier — includes Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and USC’s Caleb Williams.
  • Young is the reigning Heisman Trophy champion.
  • Williams is headed into his first season at USC, joining new coach Lincoln Riley in Southern California after starring at Oklahoma last year.
  • Rising and Stroud faced each other last season in the Rose Bowl, when Ohio State rallied to beat Utah 48-45 in a thrilling contest. 
  • Stroud threw for 573 yards and six touchdowns, while Rising threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards and another score before leaving with an injury during the fourth quarter. 

What did Cam Rising do last year?

  • After taking over the Utes’ starting quarterback role midway through the team’s third game in 2021, Rising has been a quarterback on the rise.
  • The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Texas transfer ended the season with 2,493 passing yards and 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He also rushed for 499 yards and six touchdowns.
  • Rising was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.
  • He also finished the year No. 6 in the nation on ESPN’s Total QBR rating. His 84.2 rating was the highest among Pac-12 quarterbacks.

Where did other Utah ties appear on ESPN’s tiers of college football quarterbacks?

  • BYU’s Jaren Hall was in Tier 8 of Hale’s list, titled, “Best from outside the Power 5.”
  • That group also included Houston’s Clayton Tune, Fresno State’s Jake Haener and UTSA’s Frank Harris.

  • Utah State’s Logan Bonner was in Tier 12, or “The best of the rest in the Group of 5.”
  • That group included the QB situations at eight total Group of 5 schools.
  • Also, Utah native Jaxson Dart, who played at both Corner Canyon High and Roy High and who transferred from USC to Ole Miss this offseason after his freshman year, was in Tier 5, “So hot right now.”
  • That’s a group that includes Texas’ Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card, Baylor’s Blake Shapen, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Washington State’s Cameron Ward.
  • Former Lehi High standout Cammon Cooper is one of three Hawaii quarterbacks in Tier 21. Cooper previously played at Washington State.
  • Three other former Utah college quarterbacks also made the list at their new schools: former Utah quarterback Charlie Brewer, now at Liberty, is in Tier 17, while former Utah State quarterbacks Henry Colombi (now at Marshall) and Andrew Peasley (now at Wyoming) show up in Tier 16 and Tier 23, respectively.