And then there were five. Earlier tonight, the finalists for the 2016 Heisman Trophy were announced.
- Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Louisville
- Jabrill Peppers, linebacker, Michigan
- Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Clemson
- Baker Mayfield, quarterback, Oklahoma
- Dede Westbrook, wide receiver, Oklahoma
Whenever you discuss this year's Heisman Trophy, Lamar Jackson's name isn't that far away from the conversation. Jackson scored 51 touchdowns—30 with his arm, 21 with his feet—in just 12 games, leading one of the most potent offensive attacks in the nation. While Peppers' numbers in a given category won't pop out at you, what makes the Wolverines junior so valuable is his ability to impact nearly every aspect of a game. With 66 tackles, three sacks, three rushing touchdowns, one interception, and one punt return for a touchdown, Jabrill has done a little bit of everything to lead the sixth-ranked Michigan to the Orange Bowl.
While Watson may have experienced a decline in stats this season as opposed to his 2015 campaign, the numbers are still awfully impressive. With nearly 4,000 throwing yards and 37 touchdown passes, the Tigers junior played a pivotal role in helping his team punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff against the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
Oklahoma's offense amassed the fifth-most yards in the nation because of two players: Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook. Similar to Peppers, Mayfield's numbers aren't gaudy, but he was incredibly efficient, posting a 197.8 QB rating and throwing just eight picks all season. Westbrook's 2016 season can best be described as a breakout year. The Sooners wide receiver nearly doubled his catches (74) and receiving yards (1,465) this year, compared to last season (46 catches, 743 receiving yards). Where Westbrook's numbers really stand out is in touchdowns, where he went from four last season to 16 this year.
The winner of the Heisman Trophy will be named this Saturday.
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