Bamas Smith, Jones leads four Heisman finalists

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Alabama teammates Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask was announced as finalists in the Heisman Trophy Thursday night.

Unlike 2019, when LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was the insurmountable favorite to win, the vote numbers were much closer without a clear front-runner coming off the field. The Heisman Trophy winner will be awarded on January 5 in a virtual ceremony beginning on ESPN at. 19 ET.

Choose your choice from the Alabama finalists. Smith raised his case over the last month and took up with the teammate Jaylen Waddle out and shows his ability to make explosive games in space. Smith leads the country with 98 receptions and 1,511 yards receiving while catching 17 touchdown passes.

Jones said this about his teammate: “He is the most electric player in college football. He means the most to us here in Alabama football. You can watch the games and see what type of person he is with, how he plays.”

He hopes to become the first non-quarterback to win the Heisman since Alabama drove back Derrick Henry in 2015. The last receiver to win the Heisman was Michigan Desmond Howard in 1991.

Jones, a junior with a red shirt, started four games last season after Tua Tagovailoa was injured and had a dazzling performance in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. But he had to knock out the former five-star prospect Bryce Young to win the starting job for this season.

And then he was gone, showing his comfort in the system, effortlessly collecting yards, touchdowns and points. Jones has the best talented players in college football around him, and that includes Waddle – an early Heisman hope until an ankle injury in late October forced him out for the season.

Over the last four games of the year, Jones and Smith made it clear that they were among the best players in the country and put an exclamation point on that statement in a 52-46 victory over the Gators in the SEC Championship.

Jones threw for 418 yards and five touchdowns, and Smith had 15 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. In all, Jones has thrown 3,739 yards and 32 touchdowns with just four interceptions to lead No. 1 Alabama.

Only one school has had teammates finishing 1-2 in Heisman history: The Army in 1945 (Doc Blanchard won it and Glenn Davis finished in second place).

With teammate Najee Harris announced Thursday that he finished No. 5 in the poll, Alabama is the first team with three players in the top five in the Heisman poll since the Army in 1946.

Smith and Jones are also finalists for the Maxwell Award, given to the best player in the country.

Then Lawrence, 34-1 as a starter with the Tigers. He is just the second player in Clemson history to become a Heisman finalist, joining Deshaun Watson (2015 and 2016). Although Lawrence’s statistics are not as productive as Jones’s, only Lawrence is winning. He also proved how valuable he is to the Tigers in their 34-10 win over Notre Dame in the ACC Championship last weekend.

Lawrence missed the first matchup with the Irish when he recovered from coronavirus. Clemson lost in double overtime. In the rematch, Lawrence had 412 yards total offense and scored three total touchdowns in a game that was never really close.

After the game, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney started lobbying on behalf of his quarterback. “Here’s what I want to say, it would be a crying shame if Heisman did not associate their name with Trevor Lawrence,” Swinney said. “I know it’s become a state award, but if you watch college football and you do not know it is the best player in the country? I do not know what you are watching.”

In nine games this season, Lawrence has thrown 2,753 yards with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions, adding 211 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Trask has put together one of the best seasons in Florida’s school history, and that says something given that three Heisman winners played quarterback there. In 11 games, Trask threw a school record 43 touchdown passes, leading the nation by 11. Trask also leads the nation in passing yards per carry. Play (375.0) and set a school record with 4,125 yards past – including a school record five 400-yard passing games.

Despite throwing 408 yards and three touchdowns against Alabama, Florida lost the game to move to 8-3. Two straight losses to end the season, including one for LSU, could have had an impact on his chances of winning.

Also announced Thursday were players who finished in the Top 10 in the Heisman poll. They are: No. 5 Harris; Nr. 6 Iowa State runs back Breece Hall; Nr. 7 Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields; Nr. 8 BYU quarterback Zach Wilson; Nr. 9 Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book; Nr. 10 Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.



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