Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison had a phenomenal freshman season in 2020, and as a result, he has become the subject of great expectations in 2021. In fact, one sportsbook went so far as to place him among the top 20 candidates for next season’s Heisman Trophy.
Specifically, Addison ranks 19th in a list compiled by My Bookie, with plus-2,300 odds at the prestigious award. The list is topped by Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, who has plus-450 odds, and its top three is rounded out by North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell, at plus-550, and Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, at plus-600. And while Addison’s odds are somewhat slim, no other wide receiver has been given better chances.
The closest receiver behind Addison is Alabama’s John Metchie, at plus-2,400, and behind him is Boston College’s Zay Flowers, at plus-2,500. However, in reality, all three are likely long shots for the honor, as the only non-quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy in the last decade was Alabama running back Derrick Henry in 2015, and the last receiver to win was Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.
In fact, since the award’s inception in 1935, it has been given to a wide receiver just three times. The first receiver to win the Heisman Trophy was Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers in 1972, the second was Notre Dame’s Tim Brown in 1987, and the third was Howard in 1991. And between 1992 and 2019, the Heisman has gone to a quarterback on 20 occasions.
But while actually securing Heisman honors may be unlikely for Addison and wide receivers in general, the fact that he has garnered Heisman buzz on the basis of his production as a freshman and at a position that is so often overlooked is noteworthy in and of itself.
In 2020, Addison led Pitt with 666 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions. He was also a secondary return option behind D.J. Turner and could see his role as both a receiver and return man increase in 2021, as Turner has declared for the NFL draft. And for his efforts in 2020, Addison earned honorable mention for All-ACC honors and was named one of the top 10 freshmen in the nation by Rivals.