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Four Heisman Trophy Finalists Named

After a fantastic regular season of college football, these four players were named as finalists for the Heisman Trophy, set to be handed out on Saturday, Dec. 11.

On Monday, four finalists for the Heisman Trophy were announced on ESPN and revealed by 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III: Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

This is the third year in a row there have been four Heisman finalists. 

The Heisman Trophy Trust announced recently it will now invite four finalists annually to New York City for the Heisman Trophy weekend. The Heisman Trophy Trust began inviting finalists in 1982.

Following are bios on each of the players, provided by the Heisman Trophy Trust:

Aidan Hutchinson

Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson

Hutchinson, a senior defensive end and two-time Michigan team captain, was named the 2021 Woodson-Nagurski Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year while earning consensus Big Ten first-team honors. 

He set Michigan’s single-season sack record with 14, including three against Ohio State in the regular-season finale, while also posting 15 quarterback hurries in that game (as measured by Pro Football Focus College), the most in a single game since the stat has been measured. 

His 14 sacks are third-most nationally and he has 15.5 tackles for loss.

If Hutchinson were to win the Heisman, he would be Michigan’s fourth winner following Charles Woodson (1997), Desmond Howard (1991) and Tom Harmon (1940).

C.J. Stroud

Ohio State's C.J. Stroud

Stroud, a redshirt freshman quarterback and first-year starter, completed 280 of 395 passes for 3,862 yards with 38 touchdowns and only five interceptions, leading the Buckeyes to a 10-2 record. 

His 182.2 passer rating is second-best nationally, his 351.1 passing yards per game are fourth-best, his 38 touchdown passes are fifth-best and his 70.9 completion percentage is sixth-best. The Buckeyes offense he directs was No. 1 nationally in total offense (551.4 yards per game) and scoring offense (45.5) and No. 5 in passing offense (364.9). 

His passer rating, completion percentage and passing yards per game are first in Ohio State’s season rankings while his passing yards rank second in school history and his touchdown passes rank third.

If Stroud were to win, he would be Ohio State’s eighth Heisman winner and its first since Troy Smith in 2006.

Bryce YOung

Alabama's Bryce Young

Young, a sophomore and first-year starter, threw for 4,322 yards on 314-of-462 passing (68.0%) with 43 touchdowns and only four interceptions, leading Alabama to a 12-1 record, an 2021 SEC championship and the top seed in the College Football Playoff. 

His touchdowns are second-most nationally, his passing yards are fourth-most and his passer rating of 175.53 is fifth-best. His passing yards per game (332.5) and completions (314) are sixth-most. Young, who also ran for three touchdowns, passed for five touchdowns in a game three times, including against Arkansas when he also set the Alabama school record with 559 passing yards, breaking a mark that stood for 52 years. 

He also set SEC Championship Game records with 421 passing yards and 461 yards of total offense, earning MVP honors.

If Young were to win the award, he would give Alabama back-to-back Heisman winners following DeVonta Smith in 2020. It would also mark the second time in five years a school produced back-to-back winners, following Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018).

Kenny Pickett

Pitt's Kenny Pickett

Pickett, a redshirt senior and fourth-year starter, is the ACC’s overall and Offensive Player of the Year and led the Panthers to the 2021 ACC Championship (their first in school history) and a berth in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. 

His 4,319 passing yards, 334 completions and 42 touchdown passes are school records while he threw just seven interceptions with a completion percentage of 67.2, leading Pitt to an 11-2 season. 

He also scored four touchdowns on the ground. Pickett passed for over 400 yards three times, including 419 yards in a win over Miami. His 42 touchdown passes are third-most nationally, his 4,319 passing yards and 350.8 yards per game of total offense are fifth-best and his 333.2 yards per game passing are seventh-best. 

Pickett stands as the Panthers' all-time leader in passing yards (12,303), pass completions (1,045), total offense (13,112 yards) and career touchdown passes (81). His 20 rushing touchdowns are the most of any Pitt quarterback.

Pickett would be Pittsburgh’s second winner following Tony Dorsett in 1976.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy ballots went out to 928 electors, which includes 870 members of the media, 57 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote presented by Nissan. 

All ballots were submitted electronically to the independent accountants at Deloitte.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner will be announced during the televised Heisman Trophy ceremony presented by Nissan that will air Saturday (Dec. 11) at 6 p.m. Arizona time on ESPN.