2020 Heisman Finalists
The Heisman Trophy is a coveted award given for outstanding performance which best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. On the night of Christmas Eve, the 2020-21 Heisman Trophy finalists were announced including players that finished in the top 10 in the Heiman voting.
Alabama teammates, Quarterback (QB) Mac Jones and Wide Receiver Devonta Smith, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, and Florida QB Kyle Trask were the finalists. The ceremony will be held virtually on January 5, 2021, televised on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
Since Week 2 of Alabama's schedule, I mentioned that Mac Jones would be the front runner for the Heisman talks. Jones was well equipped with Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Najeen Harris. Jones' skills are beyond superb as he beat out a former five star caliber Bryce Young for the starting job. Then, he would lead the Crimson Tides to an 11-0 record and an SEC Championship. Jones is second in passing yardage (3,739), tied third in passing touchdowns (32), and has thrown a low four interceptions out of 327 passing attempts. He has the top passing rating (202.3).
Jones' teammate, Devonta Smith, has the receiver numbers greater than the 1991 Heisman winner Desmond Howard. From the line of scrimmage, Smith has 1,522 total yards. He has caught 98 passesand scored 18 total touchdowns. Smith had two games in which he went over 200 yards (Miss St & LSU), and three passes that went greater than 50 yards (53 Miss St, 66 Auburn, 65 LSU). He has the skills to outrun his defenders and remain open as a huge target for QB Mac Jones.
Also, Smith and Jones are finalists for the Maxwell Award, given to the best player in the nation.
So, is Trevor Lawrence, who was considered the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy at the beginning of the season. He becomes the second player in college football history to become a finalist, joining former Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (2015-2016).
Lawrence missed two starts due to Covid-19. He did not play against Notre Dame as the Tigers lost in 2OT in their first meeting. However, Lawrence returned and played in the rematch for the ACC title. Clemson defeated Notre Dame 34-10.
Lawrence is still considered one of the greatest to play the game. In this current season, he totaled 198-of-286 completions, 2,753 passing yards, and threw 22 touchdown passes. Lawrence carried the ball 58 times for 211 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
For Kyle Trask, his 2019 performance landed him the starting QB job in Florida. Feleipe Franks was carted off the field with an apparent left injury that put him out for the season. He would transfer to Arkansas and assume a starting role for the Razorbacks.
Trask statistics is impeccable compared to the three Florida Heisman winners (Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel, and Steve Spurrier). In 11 games, Trask threw a school record 43 touchdown passes. He is the top QB in passing yards (4,125). Trask threw over 400 passing yards in five games (416 Ole Miss, 474 Georgia, 433 Tennessee, 474 LSU, and 408 Alabama). Trask was on fire in the last three weeks but fell short the last two games by losing to unranked LSU and the SEC Championship against Alabama.
Other players announced in the top 10 finalists were:
5. Najeen Harris
6. Breece Hall - Iowa State
7. Justin Fields - Ohio State
8. Zach Wilson - BYU
9. Ian Book - Notre Dame
10. Kyle Pitts - Florida