Sports Illustrated's Zac Ellis listed Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson as a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, putting him in a group that includes Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and UCLA linebacker/running back Myles Jack, among others. That's probably where Golson belongs in early Heisman Trophy projections, but it's not where he is in terms of betting lines.
Two months ago, the sports betting website Bovada gave Golson 22/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Apparently, there's been plenty of action on Golson -- or the people there really liked what they saw in Notre Dame's Blue-Gold game -- because as of Tuesday morning his Heisman odds are 14/1.
Those odds are the same Bovada has for UCLA quarterback Nick Hundley and Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon, and are better than the odds for Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon (18/1) and Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight (25/1).
Only five players have better odds on Bovada than Golson: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5/2), Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (5/1), Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (11/2), Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (10/1) and Georgia running back Todd Gurley (12/1).
Given that Golson hasn't played in a game since Jan. 7, 2013, there's an awful lot of unknown with him heading into the 2014 season. He made strides and flashed tantalizing potential in 2012, but missed out on a full season of development with Irish coaches during his exile from campus last fall. And he hasn't played a game at the college level in which he's really been unleashed in Notre Dame's offense, too.
So for those reasons, Golson belongs with some guys with similar unknowns, just as Ellis has it. And these under-the-radar candidates can certainly contend for the Heisman, too, as Manti Te'o did two years ago.