If the 2020 Heisman Trophy is given out to the player with the best first name, then Penn State running back Journey Brown should be the favorite. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Brown’s Heisman Trophy chances and Penn State’s 2020 college football season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Journey Brown Heisman Trophy Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
Brown attended Meadville High School in Meadville, Pennsylvania and rushed for 7,027 yards and 106 touchdowns in his career. As a junior, he broke Pennsylvania high school records for rushing yards in a game with 722 and rushing touchdowns with 10. That’s just nuts. Brown also broke the Pennsylvania record for 100-meter dash which was held by Olympian Leroy Burrell.
After redshirting his first year at Penn State in 2017, Brown played in eight games in 2018 and had 44 yards on eight carries with a touchdown. He took over as the featured back last year and finished third in the Big Ten and 27th in the FBS with 12 rushing touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 890 rushing yards. He was third in the Big Ten and 36th in the FBS with 13 total touchdowns.
Brown had eight rushes of 30-plus yards (3rd in Big Ten, 12th in FBS), four rushes of 40-plus (T-3rd, T-16th), two rushes of 50-plus (T-3rd, T-30th) and 10 rushes of 20-plus (4th, T-33rd). He had at least one rushing touchdown in five straight games to end the season. Brown had a career-long 85-yard run vs. Pitt, the second-longest non-scoring run in program history (Blair Thomas 92-yard run vs. Syracuse, 1986).
He set a Penn State bowl record with 202 yards in the Cotton Bowl vs. Memphis, topping Saquon Barkley’s 194 yards in the 2017 Rose Bowl. Brown set a Penn State record with 12.6 yards per carry in the Cotton Bowl, shattering the previous mark of 8.6 yards per carry set by Curt Warner in the 1980 Fiesta Bowl. He tied for second in Penn State bowl history with two rushing touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl.
Browns owns the ninth-longest rushing touchdown in Cotton Bowl history, a 56-yard score, which ranks sixth in Penn State bowl history. He tied for second in Cotton Bowl history with 88 yards on touchdown runs (32, 56). Thanks in part to Brown, Penn State scored a program-bowl record 53 points in the win. Brown also helped PSU tie a Cotton Bowl record with five rushing touchdowns and run for 396 yards, a program bowl record and the second-most in Cotton Bowl history.
Brown averaged 118.6 yards on the ground in his last five games, gaining 100 or more in four of them. His 6.9 yards per rush would have ranked him fourth in FBS if he had enough carries.
“We’re starting to see what redshirting and development over time can do for kids when you’re willing to work and be patient,” PSU running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider said recently. “He’s a prime example of that. Now he’s playing as a football player. When I first got here, I said he was a track kid playing football, and I meant that, but that was not being negative. He was a fast kid, he had measurables, he had talent, he just didn’t know how to tap into it, and over time he bought into it.”
With a new offense set to be installed and with an experienced and talented offensive line set to return, the run game could lead the way for the first time in a while in Happy Valley. What makes Brown so dangerous is the speed he brings to the running back position to go along with good size. He also contributed as a receiver as he hauled in 15 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown.