The Heisman Trophy will be awarded to college football’s best player on Saturday evening in New York City. Four players will attend the ceremony as finalists for the award.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young were the four finalists announced by The Heisman Trust Monday evening.
Heisman Trophy votes have already been submitted by Heisman voters. The announcement of the finalists is an indication of how the voters cast their ballots, with these four players the highest vote-receivers, and perhaps at least a few of them relatively close to each other while the fifth and sixth-place player in the voting was lagging behind enough to establish a cutoff point.
LSU’s record-setting quarterback Joe Burrow is considered by many to be the favorite for the award. Burrow rewrote the sEC record book and LSU record book with his production this season while helping LSU to an undefeated regular season and an SEC title. LSU has just one Heisman Trophy winner in school history with Billy Cannon winning the award in 1959. So it’s been a long time for the Tigers. Burrow, like the rest of his fellow Heisman Trophy finalists, will be playing in the College Football Playoff, with the Tigers taking the No. 1 seed in this year’s playoff.
Burrow will face Oklahoma, where Hurts will be looking to keep an impressive streak going for the Sooners. Each of the previous two Heisman Trophy winners were transfer quarterbacks playing for the Sooners. Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy last season, and Baker Mayfield took home the trophy in 2017.
Ohio State’s two finalists, Fields and Young, each were major players in Ohio State’s success this season. Fields is also a transfer quarterback like Burrow (who, ironically, transferred from Ohio State). Young has been widely considered the best defensive player in the country, if not the best overall player. Young did miss two games for a suspension, but his inclusion in this year’s list of finalists is a credit to the impact he had when he was on the field. Ohio State’s most recent Heisman Trophy winner was Troy Smith in 2006. Smith is also the last Big Ten player to win college football’s most iconic award.
Oklahoma and Ohio State are tied with Notre Dame for the most all-time Heisman Trophy awards. Ohio State has actually had six Heisman Trophy winners, but Archie Griffin remains the only player to win the award twice. If Joe Burrow doesn’t win the award, then we will officially have a new leader in the Heisman Trophy clubhouse.