The Texas football team has a couple of potential Heisman Trophy finalists

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Texas quarterback Arch Manning hasn't had many opportunities this season, but the freshman is in line to be the Longhorns' starter in 2024 or 2025, if he guides the team through the SEC.  The league has produced three Heisman winners in the four years leading up to Saturday night's ceremony.

Texas hasn’t had a Heisman Trophy finalist since 2009 when Colt McCoy finished as runner-up. The 2023 Heisman was awarded to LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels on Saturday night, and that got us thinking: Is Texas’ next Heisman finalist currently on the roster, and if so, who is it?

With so many headliners leaving the Forty Acres after this season, there may be fewer stars ready for the 2024 roster. But one obvious one is CJ Baxter, the explosive true freshman tailback who actually started ahead of Jonathon Brooks in this year’s season opener against Rice and the final three games of the year after Brooks tore his ACL.

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In his first game replacing Brooks, against Iowa State, Baxter racked up 117 critical yards rushing and had five of his 22 pass receptions, and he showed he has the toughness as well. the speed to be a more than capable fill.

With Brooks’ injury late in the season against TCU and his future availability in question, Baxter showed he can carry the load and push himself into Heisman contention behind a strong offensive line.

Cedric Golden: 2025 is the year of Arch Manning

If a current Longhorn were to be a Heisman finalist, who would it be? I know that Quinn Ewers may return for a third season on campus, but if there is a Heisman candidate on this roster, his name is Arch Manning and his debut in New York will take place in the 2025 season. During that time, coach Steve Sarkisian had some dynamic receivers who were on the other end of spirals.

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Ewers will have a tough challenge because when he returns, he likely won’t have pass catchers Adonai Mitchell, Xavier Worthy and Ja’Tavion Sanders at his disposal as I expect them all to bolt for the pros after the season. Manning will still be successful because of the impressive offensive line in front of him, including future All-American Kelvin Banks Jr. from recruitment or the transfer portal.

If the upside means anything, Manning is at the peak of his powers in Year 3, though an SEC schedule may make winning a Heisman a more difficult task. However, the league has produced three winners in the last four years: LSU quarterback Joe Burrow in 2019, Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith in 2020 and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young in 2021.

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