Kayvon Thibodeaux named a darkhorse Heisman contender for 2021


During Mario Cristobal's first full recruiting cycle as Oregon Ducks head coach, the crown jewell of his class was Kayvon Thibodeaux, the nation's No. 1 overall recruit.  

Now with two seasons under his belt in college football, Thibodeaux has lived up to the hype helping Oregon win back-to-back Pac-12 Championships for the first time since 2011. He has a combined 18 quarterback pressures, 10 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in two career Pac-12 Championship Games.

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The Ducks edge rusher has three seasons of college eligibility remaining but he's almost certainly only in Eugene, Oregon for one more season considering he's likely a top-ten 2022 NFL Draft pick if he declares. When he arrived on campus, he made comments about having "three years of ten sacks" to make the NFL. 

So with one final hurah as an Oregon Duck, the Pac-12 better prepare for an even more improved Thibodeaux before he heads to play on Sundays. 

However, as a monster campaign is expected, Thibodeaux has his sights set for something bigger: a Heisman Trophy.

He's not the only who thinks he can do it. Fox Sports' RJ Young named Thibodeaux as a darkhorse candidate to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy as well. 

In 21 career games, Thibodeaux has 12.0 sacks, 23.5 tackles-for-loss, six passes defended, a blocked punt and a forced fumble. 


The last Oregon player to win the Heisman Trophy was Marcus Mariota in 2014 and the last defensive player to win the award was Charles Woodson in 1997. 

Can Thibodeaux be the next? It's a long-shot, but never say never. He has the talent and motor to do so.