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UM's Aidan Hutchinson, seemingly overnight, enters the Heisman Trophy conversation

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

And you thought Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III was a late bloomer in the Heisman Trophy race.

He's got nothing on Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, who went from off the board before Saturday's Michigan-Ohio State game to the third-favorite at the conclusion of the Wolverines' 42-27 rout of the Buckeyes.

2. Detroit Lions — Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan: Hutchinson rocketed himself into the conversation as the best player in this class with a stellar senior season. Racking up 14 sacks, his true impact as a pass-rusher is demonstrated by his 73 total pressures and impressive 25.4% win rate, according to Pro Football Focus. The high-motor defender is also an above-average run-stopper and will provide an immediate boost to Detroit’s defensive front.

As of Sunday morning, Hutchinson, a senior defensive end from Plymouth, was the fifth-favorite, according to odds posted by BetMGM. Alabama QB Bryce Young remained the favorite at -200, followed by Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud (+450), Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett (+1600) and Walker (+1600). Hutchinson and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral were tied as fifth-favorites at +2500.

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Hutchinson had three sacks in the win over the Buckeyes, giving him a program-record 13 on the season. He also had 15 quarterback pressures in the game, most since Pro Football Focus has been tracking the stat, since 2014.

"Definitely should be in strong consideration for the Heisman Trophy," coach Jim Harbaugh said after Saturday's win.

That Hutchinson had such a dominant performance in such a high-profile game drew him increased action at the sportsbooks, though he remains a long shot to win the Heisman.

Only one defensive player has won the Heisman, Michigan's Charles Woodson in 1997.

Hutchinson has one more game to lure more votes, next Saturday's Big Ten championship game against Iowa in Indianapolis. Ballots are due the following day, the finalists are announced Dec. 6, and the ceremony is set for Dec. 11 in New York.

Walker, Michigan State's junior running back who was off the board for the first four weeks of the season, has been as high as the second-favorite this season. A nagging late-season injury, which led to a limited performance against Ohio State, has hurt his chances, but he is second in the nation in rushing yards at 1,636, behind Central Michigan sophomore Lew Nichols III at 1,710. Walker's 18 rushing touchdowns are tied for fifth nationally.

Walker rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 30-27 win over Penn State.

In additional odds per BetMGM, Michigan is the third-favorite to win the national title, at +800, behind Georgia (-225) and Alabama (+600). Oklahoma State (+1400), Cincinnati (+1400) and Notre Dame (+2500) round out the top six. Michigan was a 100-1 long shot before the season, according to BetOline.ag, and now is 8-1.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984