Top Colorado football transfer, one of Alabama's only returning stars, deemed Heisman candidates by one analyst

2011 Heisman Trophy Winner Portraits
2011 Heisman Trophy Winner Portraits / Kelly Kline/GettyImages

NIL on FanNation's Michael Ehrlich tabbed one of Alabama's only returning players, quarterback Jalen Milroe, and two-way Colorado football star Travis Hunter are both Heisman Award candidates for the 2024 season.

"Two of the top names coming back to campus in the Fall - Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe and Colorado wide receiver/defensive back Travis Hunter - will be among the brightest stars both on the field and in NIL, both potential Heisman Trophy candidates and expected top earners off the field," Ehrlich wrote.

The two were mentioned in the same breath together due to an NIL partnership with Leaf Trading Cards.

"Through the duo's individual NIL partnerships with Leaf Trading Cards, Milroe and Hunter have launched their own limited edition anime-style cards ($19.99)," Ehrlich prefaced before saying, "Designed by Japanese illustrator, manga artist and caricature artist, Shion Minabe, the metal trading cards will print to order through January 22 and are numbered to the final print run."

Colorado football doesn't have any Heisman candidates right now

Heisman candidates come from programs in the conference championship picture by season's end. Nine-win LSU just had Jayden Daniels win the award in 2023, while 10-win USC had Caleb Williams win the award the year before. The bar is not going to lower with a 12-team College Football Playoff field. There still needs to be wins in drove for team to have a player in the Heisman mix.

Will Colorado get there in 2024? It'd be a shocker at this point, with many of their opponents this fall loading up via the transfer portal this offseason. Looking specifically at TCU, UCF, and Texas Tech here.

If we're not considering Shedeur Sanders as a candidate, we certainly wouldn't be looking at Hunter.

For what it's worth, Milroe has a chance if he can help Kalen DeBoer and Co. lead the post-Nick Saban Crimson Tide to an SEC Championship in Year 1 of the Super-SEC.