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Lamar Jackson and Jabrill Peppers Head Five Heisman Trophy Finalists
The finalists for the 2016 Heisman Trophy are: Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Jabrill Peppers (Michigan), Deshaun Watson (Clemson) and Dede Westbrook (Oklahoma).
Heisman Trophy winners Desmond Howard ('91) and Charles Woodson ('97) announced earlier this week that the finalists for the 82nd Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy are Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Michigan DB/LB Jabrill Peppers, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook. The announcement of the finalists was made on ESPN's Countdown show.
Photo - QB Lamar Jackson - Louisville
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The five finalists will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy announcement on Saturday, December 10, which will broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST, presented by Nissan.
Lamar Jackson - 6’3” 215 lbs. - True sophomore and Louisville's first Heisman finalist. The athletic Jackson, who hails from Pompano Beach, Fla., guided the Cardinals to a 9-3 record while accumulating 4,928 yards of total offense and 51 total TDs. He threw for 3,390 yards and 30 TDs through the air and racked up 1,538 yards and 21 scores on the ground to become just the third player to pass for 30 TDs and rush for 20 TDs in the same season. He is also the first player in FBS history with 3,300 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in a season. For his efforts, Jackson was named the ACC's Player of the Year recently.
Baker Mayfield - 6’1” 215 lbs. - One of eight Oklahoma players to be named a Heisman finalist and joins teammate Dede Westbrook as the school's first since Sam Bradford won the trophy in 2008. Mayfield, a redshirt junior, led the nation in passing efficiency this season with a mark of 197.75, which currently stands above the FBS mark of 191.8 set by Wisconsin's Russell Wilson in 2011. The 6-1, 212-pounder from Austin, Texas, threw for 3,669 yards and 38 TDs while leading the Sooners to a 10-2 record and the Big 12 title. He finished fourth in the 2015 Heisman balloting.
Jabrill Peppers - 6’1” 205 lbs. - Michigan's fifth Heisman finalist and first since Chris Perry in 2003. He is the first defensive player to be named a Heisman finalist since Notre Dame's Manti Te'o in 2012. The versatile 6-1, 205-pound true junior from East Orange, NJ, was all over the field for the Wolverines this season, totaling 71 tackles, including 15 behind the line of scrimmage, one interception, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, 167 rushing yards (with three TDs), 310 yards punt return yards (with 1 TD) and 260 yards on kickoff returns. Logged 933 snaps this season for the Wolverines and played 15 different positions, seeing action on offense (53 plays), defense (726 plays) and special teams (154). He helped lead Michigan to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Orange Bowl. One of the most dynamic returners in the country.
Deshaun Watson - 6’2” 210 lbs. - Returns for a second-straight year to the Heisman ceremony after finishing third in the voting in 2015. The true junior from Gainesville, Ga., passed for 3,914 yards and 37 TDs while also rushing for 529 yards and 6 scores. His 4,443 yards of total offense was eighth-best nationally while his combined 43 TDs running and passing was tied for fourth-best among Power 5 conference players. The 6-2, 210-pounder led Clemson to its second-straight ACC title as well as its second-consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff.
Dede Westbrook - 6’ 175 lbs. - One of eight Oklahoma players to be named a Heisman finalist and joins teammate Baker Mayfield as the first Sooner to be so honored since Sam Bradford won the Heisman in 2008. The 6-0, 176-pound senior from Cameron, Texas, caught 74 passes for 1,465 yards and a school-record 16 TD receptions as Oklahoma finished 10-2 and won the Big 12 title. He was second among all Power 5 players in receiving yardage and third in receiving yardage per game while averaging a stellar 19.81 yards per catch. One of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, Westbrook is the first receiver to be named a Heisman finalist since Amari Cooper in 2014.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy electorate, which selects the finalists and the Heisman winner, is comprised of 929 voters, including 870 media members and 58 former Heisman winners. The public at large is granted one overall fan vote, thanks to Heisman's Premier Partner, Nissan.
"This outstanding class of Heisman finalists represent the best in College Football this season. We are excited to welcome the next Heisman Trophy winner into the elite Heisman fraternity this weekend." said Rob Whalen, Executive Director of the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Tickets are still available for the 82nd Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner on Monday, December 12 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The winner will be presented with his award at this event, where three former Heisman winners will also be recognized: Steve Spurrier (Florida, 1966) on the 50th Anniversary of his award, Desmond Howard (Michigan, 1991) on the 25th Anniversary of his award and Troy Smith (Ohio State, 2006) on the 10th anniversary of his award. The Trust will also recognize NFL Hall of Famer and retired Minnesota State Justice Alan Page as the 2016 Heisman Humanitarian Award winner for his support of educational opportunities for at-risk youth.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.heisman.com or by calling The Heisman Trophy Trust at (212) 425-7000.
Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe, Biletnikoff etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year-round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites