Shedeur Sanders lands among ESPN's way-too-early 2024 Heisman contenders
Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter are both early contenders for the 2024 Heisman Trophy, according to ESPN.
On Saturday, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach looked ahead to the 2024 football season and highlighted early contenders for the Heisman. He has 11 quarterbacks listed among the 15 players named, and Sanders is one of them. Here’s what he wrote about the standout Colorado quarterback:
Sanders is considered a potential first-round pick in the NFL draft, so it’s unclear whether he’ll return to play for his father, Deion, for another season. Sanders showed plenty of guts playing behind a dreadful offensive line this past season, throwing for 3,230 yards with 27 touchdowns and three interceptions. If he comes back to school — and the Buffaloes can cobble together some protection — he might contend for the Heisman Trophy and be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NFL draft.
Sanders is expected back in Boulder. Coach Deion Sanders has invested a tremendous amount of resources into rebuilding the offensive line in order to protect his son. The Buffs gave up 56 sacks in 12 games during the 2023 season — a non-stop siege on Sanders that ultimately resulted in a fracture in his back that forced him to miss the finale.
If Colorado can keep him upright and hold up in the trenches, Sanders has already proven he can win games with his arm.
It certainly helps that he has Hunter to throw to. Schlabach also has the star corner and wide receiver listed among his early Heisman contenders. Here’s what he wrote on Hunter:
Another Colorado player who captured the sport’s attention early in the 2023 season, Hunter won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in the FBS. On offense, he had 57 catches for 721 yards and 5 touchdowns. On defense, Hunter had 30 tackles, 3 interceptions and 5 pass breakups. Hunter missed three games because of injuries but still logged 1,032 snaps, the most of any player in the FBS.
Colorado will play its first season in the Big 12 next fall. The Buffs will play road games at Nebraska and Arizona as well as home games against Utah and Oklahoma State. After being a national TV darling in 2023, Sanders and Hunter should have plenty of opportunities to grab the spotlight in 2024.