In 2022, a Mountain West quarterback being on the Heisman list is rare. Becoming a Heisman finalist seems out of this world. However, Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener has the potential to make the list as a Heisman Trophy Finalist.
Jake Haener 2021 Stats
In 2021, Haener shocked the country and became one of the most surprising quarterbacks in the country. At the beginning of the season, some had him in Heisman discussions. He fell short versus Oregon by a touchdown but upsetted UCLA while playing, visibly injured.
However, the hype would cool down as Fresno State would struggle against a two-win UNLV team, followed by an upset loss against Hawaii. Throughout the rest of the season, the Bulldogs would scrape by and would eventually get blown out by Boise State, ending their Mountain West hopes.
Despite the up and down season, Haener’s stats were remarkable. He would finish the season with:
67.1% completion percentage with 4,096 yards and 33 touchdowns
Haener can lead another upset against a Southern California Team.
Last year, Haener gained national attention by beating UCLA. During Week 3, Fresno State will visit one of the most anticipated teams in the country, USC.
USC has gained a tremendous amount of media attention due to the surprising arrival of former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley. Riley would bring with him a handful of his former players, including star quarterback Caleb Williams.
Every single one of USC games will be closely watched, and if Haener can lead Fresno State to an upset victory, the game could mark his Heisman moment.
What else does Haener need to do to be Heisman Finalist?
Being a quarterback in the Mountain West has its disadvantages in terms of Heisman finalists discussions. Many will argue it is a weaker conference compared to the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12. Players, especially quarterbacks, from these conferences will have the edge over Haener.
However, if Haener can pull off spectacular numbers en route to beating USC and Oregon State alongside wins versus Boise State and San Diego State, he might find himself in New York during the final weeks of the college football season.
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