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Everything you need to know about the 2013 Heisman

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The 2013 Heisman ceremony is approaching. It will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m ET.

Here’s all you need to know about the trophy heading into the show. Your viewer’s guide, if you will:

— This is the 32nd Heisman ceremony featuring multiple finalists to be broadcast on live television. Prior to 1982, only the winner went to New York to pick up his trophy. The announcement for the Heisman wasn’t broadcast live until 1977. Prior to that, the announcement was taped and then showed either on newsreels or at halftime of an NFL game. The first Heisman finalists in this format were Herschel Walker, John Elway and Eric Dickerson in 1982. However, Elway did not attend the ceremony, so the only finalist present were Walker and Dickerson.

— The announcement date — December 14th — is the latest the trophy has been awarded since 1996. The only other time the trophy has been awarded this late was in 1991.

— If you wonder where Jameis Winston’s pending landslide might rank on all time Heisman lists, here are the five largest margins of victory in Heisman history:

1968, OJ Simpson, 1,750 points

2006, Troy Smith, 1,662 points

1993, Charlie Ward, 1,622 points

1991, Desmond Howard, 1,574 points

1998, Ricky Williams, 1,563 points

— Winston will be the third No. 5 to win the award, joining Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung in 1956 and USC’s Reggie Bush in 2005.

— Two previous Heisman winners went to high school in Alabama, Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan. Winston, who hails from Hueytown High in Bessemer, Ala., would be the third.

— Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has a chance to notch the highest finish by a non-BCS-conference player in the BCS era. Colt Brennan finished third as a finalist in 2007. The only only other finalists from a non-BCS-conference school in the BCS era was Kellen Moore of Boise State, who placed fourth in 2010, and Chad Pennington of Marshall, who was fifth in 1999.

— Between 1935 and 2006, a span of 71 years, no sophomore or freshman had ever won the Heisman. Since 2007, three sophomores and one (soon to be two) redshirt freshmen have won. The last senior to win the Heisman was Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006.

— The Heisman voting is done by 927 voters, 870 of whom are media members and 57 who are former winners of the trophy. There is also one fan vote done via online voting. The 870 media voters are dispersed over six regions — the Far West, the Midwest, the Southwest, the South, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Balloting is done online. A first-place vote gets 3 points, a second-place vote gets 2 points and a third-place vote gets one point.

— Winston will be the third Heisman winner from Florida State. His win would come on the 20th anniversary of FSU’s first Heisman, Charlie Ward, back in 1993.

Demoted by BC, Todd Fitch takes over as LaTech’s OC

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 19:  Head coach Skip Holtz of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs objects to a call during the first half of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 19, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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A promotion in 2015 was quickly followed by a demotion a year later for Todd Fitch.  Not long after the latter went down, Fitch left town for a fresh start to his coaching career.

Friday, Skip Holtz announced that Fitch has been hired as his offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech.  Additionally, Fitch will serve as the wide receivers coach for the Bulldogs.

Fitch had spent the past three seasons at Boston College, first as receivers coach and passing-game coordinator in 2013-14 before being promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2015.  However, BC head coach Steve Addazio announced in mid-January that he had hired Scott Loeffler as his coordinator, effectively demoting Fitch back to receivers coach.

Three weeks later, Fitch headed south.

“I am excited to be joining a staff that is part of growing something special,” Fitch said. “This coaching staff has laid the groundwork for a program that has already done some great things and is building a foundation for future success. I am excited for the opportunity to be on a staff with Skip Holtz again and to keep growing this program.”

In addition to BC, Fitch had also been a coordinator at East Carolina and USF. Holtz was the head coach at both of those stops.

San Jose State QB Malik Watson latest to take grad transfer route

SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  The San Jose State Spartans marching band plays their fight song against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the second quarter on November 29, 2013 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California.  The Spartans won 62-52.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a college football player has decided to ply his final season of college football wares elsewhere.

The latest to take that tack is Malik Watson, who announced via Twitter that he has “decided that I will not be returning to San Jose State for my senior and will be seeking elsewhere to pursue my dream.”  As Watson will graduate from SJSU this May, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 if he lands at another FBS school and enrolls in a grad program not offered at his former school.

Watson added that, as he awaits a new destination, he “will continue to train with my private QB coach in this meantime.”

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A California high school product who was born in Hawaii, Watson transferred from the junior college ranks to SJSU in 2014. After redshirting that first year, the 6-3, 208-pound Watson played in two games as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart.

In that time, Watson completed 9-of-15 passes for 59 yards and an interception. Of the 15 attempts, 14 came in the Week 3 loss to Oregon State.

Illini grad transfer T.J. Neal to visit WVU, Auburn

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMPER 27: Linebacker T.J. Neal #52 of the Illinois Fighting Illini arches of running back Ameer Abdullah #8 of the Nebraska Cornhuskersduring their game at Memorial Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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T.J. Neal does not yet know where he will continue his collegiate career, but it appears the linebacker has significantly narrowed the field.

A little less than two weeks ago, Neal, after being told by the coaching staff that they were planning to move him from middle to strongside linebacker, decided to transfer out of the Illinois football program.  As he will be a graduate transfer upon earning his degree in May, Neal will be eligible to play at another FBS program in 2016.

Enter West Virginia and Auburn, two teams which have been in contact with Neal and vice versa.  According to al.com, Neal will visit Morgantown this coming Monday, then head to The Plains a week later.

Upon the announcement of an impending departure, Illini head coach Bill Cubit said the Pennsylvania native “was talking about playing closer to home.”  Even as a move to Auburn would be the exact opposite of that, Neal seems genuinely excited over the prospects.

“Being able to play down there in Alabama, it’s like a dream come true,” Neal told Brandon Marcello of al.com. “From my high school, I never thought I’d play at a big-time school like Auburn. To have a chance now, it’s exciting to play against some of the top players in the country.”

According to blueandgoldsports.com, Penn State and Pittsburgh are/were also in play. It’s unclear if he’s visited or plans to visit those schools in his home state, although it was originally thought that the Nittany Lions could be high on Neal’s to-do list.

Not only is Neal a native of McKeesport, Pa., but Tim Banks, the Illini’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach the past four seasons, left in December to become the Nittany Lions’ coordinator.  PSU has also seen a pair of linebackers, Troy Reeder and Gary Wooten Jr., transfer out this month, meaning the opportunity for a starting job would certainly be on the table.

Regardless, Neal expects to make a decision shortly after the Feb. 15 visit to Auburn. He would then enroll in his new school of choice shortly after his graduation from Illinois.

Neal was a two-year starter for the Illini who finished second on the team in tackles (109) this past season.  He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten for his play in 2015.

Hip issue forces Mizzou RB Morgan Steward to retire

Morgan Steward
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Thomas Tyner isn’t the only Power Five running back forced to step away from the sport because of injury.

Back in November of 2014, Morgan Steward sustained a hip injury during the early portion of Missouri’s summer camp.  Specifically, the running back said at the time, “[m]y hip joint popped out of place, tore things around, pulled off some of the bone.”

Surgery that November sidelined him until camp the following year, but Steward managed to play the first three games of the 2015 season. Unfortunately, the back was shut down in late September for the remainder of the year; five months later, he’s being shut down permanently as Mizzou officials have confirmed that Steward will be forced to retire from the sport and end the playing portion of his football career.

A three-star member of the Tigers’ 2012 recruiting class, Steward ran for 84 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt freshman. Prior to the hip injury the following year, Steward was viewed as a back who could potentially shoulder a significant portion of the running-game load, rushing for 117 yards and three touchdowns in a scrimmage during spring practice in 2014. Post-injury, he ran for 18 yards in the three 2015 games.

The good news for Steward is that he has his degree from Mizzou in business communications.