Heisman Trophy Finalists: How to Rank the Top Three Candidates for College Football’s 2021 Top Prize

It’s been a strange year for college football’s favorite player award. It could be argued that in mid-November there was no real a favorite of the Heisman Trophy.

It’s been a few weeks since Michigan State ran again. Kenneth Walker III has run 5 encounters with Michigan. It was a few weeks ago when Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud threw for six touchdowns in one half. But none of those people, and their entire team, could not maintain their excellence.

That has narrowed the scope for the award, which doesn’t necessarily go to the best player but usually whoever wins a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice popularity contest. The Heisman today is best defined as an award given to a skill player from the Power Five team winning more than 10 games who does something dramatic in November.

That leaves room on this ballot for only three players. The midfield legacy in Alabama is on the rise with a one-season pass record having been set five times since 2012. Bryce Young is about to do it again. Ah, but in these NIL days, you are who you are maybe it is in. Before starting his first game, Young was guaranteed $1 million in NIL earnings.

Winger Kenny Pickett has led Pittsburgh to a fourth congress title in history. Michigan Aidan Hutchinson’s defensive finish is the ultimate legacy. His father is an all-American for the Wolverines playing the same position.

They will have no team in their current position. Alabama was favored to win the national championship for the seventh time under coach Nick Saban. Pittsburgh ended Clemson’s streak of six consecutive ACC titles. Hutchinson was the cornerstone of Michigan’s first Big Ten title since 2004.

The Heisman Trust terminates voters who have the courage to reveal their ballot to a College football trophy before the ceremony ends. Since I gave up myself for the sake of transparency, this is the person who would be on my Heisman ballot if I still had a ballot to file.


1. Bryce Young, quarterback, Alabama: With 95 seconds on the clock at Auburn, Young is in the midst of one of the worst games of his career: 16 of 34 204-yard passes with an intercept. The Tigers inexplicably restrained Young to the point where they only held the Crimson Tide with three points. Young then won the Heisman, not only with a sensational comeback in the Iron Bowl but subsequently defeating Georgia in the 2021 SEC Championship Game.

Since that point in the game against Auburn, Young has completed 35 of 61 534-yard passes with five touchdowns to end the season. His performance against Georgia propelled Alabama into the CFP (as first seed) for the seventh time in eight years. There were other Heisman moments for Young. He set a field pass record against Arkansas (559 yards) and threw three touchdowns five times. With at least one game left, his 43 touchdown passes set a school record. He is 178 yards behind the passing record for a season. Simply put, Tide wouldn’t be back in the playoffs without him.


2. Kenny Pickett, quarterback, Pittsburgh: When you compare yourself to Dan Marino, you know you’re having a special season. Marino was at the 2021 ACC Championship Game when Pickett broke a supposedly unbreakable record: 79 touchdowns in Marino’s career. Pickett also broke Alex Van Pelt’s career records for passes and total fouls. The boy from New Jersey has made Pittsburgh football interesting and relevant this season.

The other proof of the year was very special: Wake Forest asked the NCAA to intervene. Coach Dave Clawson now wants the NCAA to look into Pickett’s “fake slip” that allowed him to go 58 yards to score in an ACC title match. Are you kidding? That’s in the “Heisman Moments” bin. Pickett added a dash of danger and swagger to a show that wasn’t lacking in tradition. Long time no see Marino and Tony Dorsett. Pickett’s name also deserves to be called out someday.

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3. Aidan Hutchinson, full-back, Michigan: A Michigan All-American frontiersman who was on the Big Ten’s defense for the year has given birth to another. Like father (Chris), like son, immediately down to the same number (97). Aidan is the latest incarnation of JJ Watt or Joey Bosa or whoever you want to put up there as a sack machine with an endless engine. It was Hutchinson who seemed to influence every opponent’s snap. He saved the last best, taking four bags in his last two games – three against Ohio State, one against Iowa.

In a season defined by a defensive comeback, Hutchinson deserves a trip to New York. He was the cornerstone of the best Michigan team of the Jim Harbaugh era. Who would have thought a kid would meditate and practice yoga and play like a madman? There is some karma here. The last time Michigan won the national championship in 1997, it also had a defensive player among the finalists (Charles Woodson). Fun fact: Hutchinson will be Harbaugh’s second defensive Heisman finalist (Jabrill Peppers, 2016).

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/heisman-trophy-finalists-how-to-rank-the-top-three-contenders-for-college-footballs-premier-2021-award/ Heisman Trophy Finalists: How to Rank the Top Three Candidates for College Football’s 2021 Top Prize

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: dustinhuang@24ssports.com.

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