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Analyst: Dylan McCaffrey a darkhorse Heisman candidate if Michigan receivers cooperate

The Detroit News

Dylan McCaffrey, Heisman Trophy candidate?

Indeed, Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports identifies McCaffrey as one of five darkhorse candidates for college football’s top individual honor in 2020.

Dylan McCaffrey

Fornelli actually says Michigan’s starting quarterback will be the candidate – whether that’s McCaffrey or Joe Milton. And for the time being, Michigan says there is no favorite to start in a competition that also includes Cade McNamara.

McCaffrey appeared in seven games in 2019, completing 10 of 20 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown. He also had one rushing TD.

Fornelli expects McCaffrey (or Milton) to lead an improved Wolverine offense in 2020 because "it will be hard for Michigan receivers to be worse" than they were at hanging onto the ball in 2019. 

More: Wolverines say 'everything's on the upswing' for Michigan safety Brad Hawkins

Fornelli explains: "Michigan's receiving corps had a drop rate of 12.6% last season. That ranked 121st nationally. Even worse, Michigan receivers had an on-target catch rate of 75.2% last year, according to Sports Info Solutions. That ranked 129th nationally, with only Buffalo being worse at 73.5%."

He adds: "Michigan's two leading receivers last season, Ronnie Bell and Nico Collins, were two of its biggest culprits. Bell dropped 16.9% of his targets and had an on-target catch rate of 70.8%. Collins wasn't much better, checking in with a drop rate of 11.1% and an on-target catch rate of 68.5%."

Michigan is expected to start the 2020 season with only seven scholarship wide receivers, with Bell and Collins leading the pack.

Fornelli's other darkhorse Heisman candidates are  USC quarterback Kedon Slovis, LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan and Purdue receiver Rondale Moore.