Brady Quinn breaks down his top Heisman Trophy candidates after Week 9

The second half of the 2017 college football season is underway. That means the College Football Playoff race is heating up, as is the Heisman Trophy race.

Which players have the inside step towards a trip to New York in December? Former Heisman finalist Brady Quinn breaks down his top candidates.

5) Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame: Welcome to the party, pal. Notre Dame's shifty running back had 191 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-14 win over USC. That puts Adams at 967 yards for the season and marks his fourth 100-yard game. In a year of big-name running backs, Adams' performance in a primetime game has launched him straight into the Heisman discussion. 

4) Byrce Love, RB, Stanford: The nation's leading rusher is coming off a bye, but there's been no player more explosive than Love. He has a stunning 10.27 yards per carry and a majority of his 11 touchdowns have come from at least 50 yards out. His 198 yards per game is still best in the country by more than 30 yards. 

3) J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State: Barrett is also coming off a bye week but has a major game coming up Saturday against Penn State. His 1,351 yards and 18 touchdowns in the last five games have quietly made him one of college football's premier passers. However, those numbers will be put to the test in a potential make-or-break Heisman game for the fifth-year senior. 

2) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: Mayfield continued to put the team on his back with 410 yards passing and two touchdowns against Kansas State. He holds the highest passer rating of any quarterback on the season and is the only one to have a rating of 200.

1) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: Who else? Penn State's stud running back ripped off a huge touchdown run and caught another touchdown as part of a three-score game against Michigan. He can firmly grasp the Heisman lead with a big game against Ohio State. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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