Alabama WR DeVonta Smith leads group of 4 Heisman Trophy finalists
The finalists of the Heisman Trophy 2020 were announced on Thursday. Four players are still fighting for the most prestigious award in college football.
The finalists are Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask.
With Jones and Smith as finalists, it's the second straight season that teammates have finished in the top four. Last year, Ohio State teammates Justin Fields and Chase Young finished third and fourth, respectively.
It was also announced on Thursday that Alabama, which was falling to Najee Harris, finished fifth in the vote. This made this year's Alabama team only the second team to have three players in the top five of the same Heisman poll. The other was the 1946 Army squad with Glenn Davis (first), Doc Blanchard (fourth), and Arnold Tucker (fifth).
Former Heisman winners and hundreds of media members vote for the award by choosing three players on their ballot. A vote in first place is worth three points, a vote in second place is worth two points, and a vote in third place is worth one point. The votes were due on Monday at 5 p.m. ET.
Instead of the usual New York City event, this season's Heisman ceremony will take place on January 5th at 7:00 p.m. at ESPN headquarters in Briston, Connecticut. ET because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Heisman finalists will "appear either via satellite from home or school," ESPN said last month.
The 2019 Heisman Trophy ceremony took place on December 14th and was won by LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
Find out more about this year's finalists here:
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Early in 2020, some wondered if Mac Jones would just be Alabama's placeholder at the quarterback until cherished freshman Bryce Young was ready to take over as a starter. Instead, Jones had a monster season helping Alabama win the SEC title and get back into the college football playoffs.
Jones reaches the CFP semi-finals with 3,739 yards (No. 2 national), 32 touchdowns (No. 3) and only four interceptions, while leading the nation with a completion percentage of 76.5 over the course of 11 games. Along the way, Jones has put together seven 300-yard games, four 400-yard games, and six games with at least four touchdown passes. When the Crimson Tide beat Florida in the SEC title game, Jones threw 418 yards and five touchdowns.
Chances of winning at BetMGM: +175
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The planned # 1 in the 2020 NFL draft is a Heisman finalist for the first time. Trevor Lawrence has been a star since the first day he stepped on the field as a freshman for Clemson in 2018. He led the Tigers to the national title that season and had Clemson back in the national championship game last fall.
That year, Lawrence shook off a two-game absence caused by a positive COVID-19 test to push Clemson back into the college football playoffs. Lawrence, who finished seventh last year, missed Clemson's regular seasonal meeting with Notre Dame but was available for the rematch in the ACC title game. Lawrence was the best player on the field, throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns but also rushing for 90 yards and a score.
In nine games this season, Lawrence has thrown 2,753 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions, completing 69.2 percent of his passes. Lawrence also added 211 yards and seven leg touchdowns.
Chances of winning at BetMGM: +700
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) lands in the second half of the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college football game against Notre Dame on Saturday, December 19, 2020 in Charlotte, NC (AP Photo / Brian Blanco).
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
DeVonta Smith made a name for himself by receiving the game-winning touchdown pass in the national championship game as a true freshman. Now he is the betting favorite who wins the Heisman Trophy as a senior.
Smith is having an incredible season for the Crimson Tide. Upon joining the GFP, Smith made 98 catches for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also has a quick touchdown and a punt returner other than a punt returner. Smith averages 8.9 catches and 137.4 yards per game. He has seven games with at least 100 receiving yards, four games with more than 10 catches, and six games with multiple touchdown catches. His last performance against Florida in the SEC title game was one of his best: 15 catches, 184 yards and two TDs.
If Smith wins the Heisman, he will only be the fourth recipient to win the award. The youngest was Desmond Howard from Michigan in 1991.
Chances of winning at BetMGM: -165
Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Kyle Trask, the national leader in overtaking and touchdowns, is the University of Florida’s first Heisman finalist since Tim Tebow. Trask led Florida to an SEC East title while putting up ridiculous numbers: 4,125 yards and 43 touchdowns with a finish percentage of 69.7.
Along the way, Trask averaged a whopping 375 yards per game, while crossing the 400-yard mark five times. He also threw four or more touchdowns in seven of Florida's eleven games, including two six touchdown passes in one game.
While his candidacy is likely to be influenced by Florida losing its last two games, it has been a notable rise for Trask. Trask started his first game since high school in 2019 after Feleipe Franks (now in Arkansas) was injured. He took full advantage of his chance and is considered one of the best players in the sport.
Chances of winning at BetMGM: +4000
Other top 10 Heisman finishers revealed
Not only did ESPN reveal the remaining candidates who are eligible to win the award, but also the players who rounded up the top 10 Heisman votes.
5. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Najee Harris has grown to become one of the elite players in his position over the past two years. In eleven games this year, Harris leads the nation with a whopping 24 touchdowns that go along with his 1,262 yards (third highest in the nation) and an average of 5.9 yards. The senior also has 32 catches for 316 yards and three points.
All of Harris' three 2020 touchdowns were scored in the SEC's title game win over Florida. Harris had a monster performance, putting on 178 yards and two touchdowns while scoring five passes for 67 yards and those three points.
With Harris in 5th place, the 2020 Alabama team became the second team ever with three top 5 Heisman finishers.
6. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
Iowa State Runs Back Breece Hall leads the nation with 1,436 rushing yards, helping the Cyclones reach the Big 12 title game for the first time. Hall, who also has 19 touchdown runs, has reached 100 yards in eight of Iowa State's eleven games. Hall scored at least two touchdowns in eight Iowa State games. Hall enters bowl game and averages 5.9 yards per carry.
7. Justin Fields, QB, State of Ohio
Justin Fields landed in the top 10 on the Heisman poll for a second straight season. Fields finished third in 2019, his first season in Columbus after moving to OSU from Georgia. Fields did well under Ryan Day with the Buckeyes, leading OSU to a Big Ten title and a place in the college football playoffs with the program in both seasons. In six games in 2020, Fields has thrown 1,521 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions, completing 72.6 percent of his passes.
8. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Zach Wilson dazzled as BYU's starting quarterback in his third season, helping the Cougars at 11-1. On the way, Wilson threw 3,699 yards and 33 touchdowns with just three interceptions while completing 73.4 percent of his passes. Wilson also ended the year with 254 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Now Wilson is expected to be one of the top quarterbacks selected in the 2020 NFL draft should he leave school.
9. Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Ian Book has more wins than anyone in Notre Dame history as the starting quarterback, 30, and now he has a top 10 Heisman result. In 2020, the fifth-year senior has the Fighting Irish back in the College Football Playoff for the second time in three seasons. Book led the way to an unbeaten regular season as he threw 2,600 yards, raced 430 yards, and combined 23 touchdowns.
10. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts became the nation's best close end in 2020. Pitts made a name for himself in 2019 when he caught 54 passes for 649 yards, but it was clear in early 2020 that he was taking his game to a new level. Pitts scored 170 yards and four touchdowns on eight catches in the season opening win in Florida against Ole Miss. That marked the beginning of a year in which Pitts scored 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in just eight games. That is an average of 17.9 meters per reception.
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