The 3 finalists selected are Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.
This particular field for the Heisman award is a really strong showing, with 2 of the players on teams that, on Sunday, were selected to be a part of the 1st ever College Football Playoffs.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has had a stand out season leading the Oregon Ducks to the number 2 overall seed for the inaugural College Football Playoffs. Mariota has thrown for 3,783 yards, 38 touchdowns, and just 2 interceptions on the season. Mariota will need to remain at the top of his game, as the Ducks are scheduled to run up against the Florida State Seminoles and last year’s Heisman winner Jameis Winston in one of the semi-final games for this seasons championship.
Amari Cooper has been, far and away, the top wide receiver in the country, and has helped Alabama earn the top overall seed going into this years playoffs. Cooper has hauled in 115 passes for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year, with his receptions setting an SEC record. Cooper will need to continue to be a major contributor as Alabama faces off against the Ohio State Buckeyes in their semi final game.
The last, and not to be counted out finalist, is Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, who has been a massive force on the ground, and been the biggest contributor for Wisconsin’s offense. Gordon leads the country having accumulated 2,336 yards on the ground this year, along with 26 touchdowns. Gordon even held the record for most rushing yards in a single game with 408 yards, though it held for only a week. If Gordon rushes for around 300 yards in Wisconsin’s bowl game vs Auburn, he could break Barry Sanders’ single-season record of 2,628 yards.
The field of finalists is very stacked this year, and there are legitimate cases to make for each of the finalists for this year’s award. Only time will tell, but this has the potential to be one of the tightest Heisman votes in recent memory.