College Football

NCAA News: Heisman Finalists Announced

The final four is set. Yes, we've known for a week that Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame will vie for the National Championship, advancing to the College Football Playoff in the most unique year in the sport's history.

But there's another compelling final four that has been a fascinating back-and-forth battle in the sportsbooks all season long, and now we have our answer.

Alabama teammates Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith, along with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Florida's Kyle Trask, have been named the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Jan. 5 during a virtual ceremony to be broadcast on ESPN.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the trip to New York for the trophy presentation that befits the honor of being named a finalist.

Alabama Boys

Jones and Smith are the eighth set of teammates to be finalists together since the tradition started in 1982. Smith is trying to become the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991.

The Wolverines' Charles Woodson also played wideout during his 1997 Heisman campaign but was primarily a defensive back and is the only primarily defensive player ever to win the award.

If it isn't Smith, who leads the nation in receptions (98) and receiving yards (1,511), the winner will be a quarterback for the 13th time in the last 15 years. Jones leads the nation in efficiency rating, completion percentage, and yards per pass with 32 touchdown passes.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide will play No. 4 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year's Day.

Jones or Smith would become Alabama's third Heisman winner ever, but the first that is not a running back. Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015) were the Tide's first Heisman winners.

Roaring Tiger

Lawrence was the preseason favorite to win the award, but missing two games due to a positive COVID-19 test hurt his chances. The junior quarterback and presumed top pick in next year's NFL Draft did not play against Boston College and at Notre Dame, the latter of which resulted in the Tigers' only loss of the season.

He did play in the ACC Championship rematch against the Fighting Irish last weekend and led the Tigers to a blowout victory. On the season, Lawrence has thrown for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns in nine games, helping Clemson reach the playoff for the third time in his career.

No. 2 Clemson plays No. 3 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, the nightcap of the CFP semifinal doubleheader on Jan. 1. Lawrence would be the Tigers' first Heisman winner.

Gator Raid

Trask leads the country with 43 touchdown passes and 4,125 yards. The senior is trying to join Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, and Tim Tebow as Heisman-winning quarterbacks from Florida.

The Gators' upset loss to LSU on Dec. 12 knocked Trask from his perch as the odds-on favorite and cost Florida any chance of advancing to the CFP, but he still had an outstanding season and has skyrocketed up draft boards for next spring.

The rest of the top 10 was revealed in order, starting with Alabama running back Najee Harris.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall was sixth, followed by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

College Football