Two Alabama teammates, quarterback Mac Jones and wide receiver DeVonta Smith, join Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask as the finalists for the 86th annual Heisman Trophy. The winner will be announced Tuesday. A rundown of the finalists:
MAC JONES, junior, QB, Alabama
KEY STATS: Led the nation with a completion percentage of 76.5 and a pass efficiency rating of 202.35 in the regular season. Passed for 3,739 yards and 32 touchdowns against just four interceptions in the Tide’s 11 games heading into the playoff. His four 400-yard passing games this season are more than any other Alabama quarterback has produced in an entire career. That includes a 418-yard, five-touchdown performance in the Southeastern Conference championship win over Florida.
BEST GAME: A player who had three straight 400-yard games early in the season saved his perhaps best performance for the biggest stage so far. He completed 33 of 43 passes with an interception against the Gators.
THE SKINNY: Jones has been dynamic this season, launching some bombs and also expertly taking what the defense gives him without taking unnecessary risks. Scarcely missed a beat even with the ankle injury to dynamic receiver Jaylen Waddle that has sidelined him most of the season. Jones has exceeded just about every outside expectation this season, leading one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. Also has a knack for shaking off mistakes and not letting them affect his play.
TREVOR LAWRENCE, junior, QB, Clemson
KEY STATS: Lawrence’s numbers are not as robust as other finalists, partly because Clemson’s early dominance typically sends him to the bench for good stretches of the second half and he missed three games due to the coronavirus. Still, Lawrence completed nearly 70% of his throws for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns along with four interceptions in the regular season.
BEST GAME: After missing Clemson’s 47-40 double overtime loss to Notre Dame in November, Lawrence faced the Fighting Irish in the ACC title game and helped the Tigers roll to their sixth conference crown with a dominant 34-10 victory. Lawrence completed 25 of 36 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns against a stingy Irish defense. He also rushed for 90 yards and a score.
THE SKINNY: At 6-foot-6 with a cannon arm and unflappable manner, Lawrence is what a screenwriter might come up for a film about a star quarterback. Lawrence’s Heisman credentials this season may have slipped some when he went more than a month without playing, but he and the Tigers made the playoff again just the same.
DeVONTA SMITH, senior, WR, AlabamaKEY STATS: Led the nation with 98 catches and 1,511 yards going into the playoff, and his 17 touchdown receptions rank second. Had seven 100-yard games and six multi-touchdown performances. Scored on an 84-yard punt return against Arkansas.
BEST GAME: One could easily argue it was the SEC title game. But Smith had 11 catches for 203 yards and four touchdowns against Mississippi State. He caught scoring passes of 35, 53, 11 and 10 yards. He added seven catches for 130 yards and three TDs in the CFP semifinal win over Notre Dame.
THE SKINNY: Has found a way to continue putting up huge numbers even without Waddle consuming much of the secondary’s attention. Made a leaping one-handed touchdown grab against LSU. Despite all the attention, Tide coach Nick Saban calls him “probably one of the most selfless guys that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach.” Obliterated the SEC record for receiving touchdowns with 43 — so far.
KYLE TRASK, senior, QB, FloridaKEY STATS: His 43 TD passes lead the nation by 11 and are tied for the eighth-highest total through 11 games in Bowl Subdivision history. Trask threw four or more TD passes in each of Florida’s first six games this year, making him the first player in SEC history and fourth FBS quarterback since 1996 to accomplish the feat.
BEST GAME: He became the Heisman front-runner against resurgent Arkansas in mid-November, when he completed 23 of 29 passes for 356 yards and six touchdowns in a 63-35 beatdown that made the Gators look like legitimate national championship contenders.
THE SKINNY: Even when it looked like Trask would get his chance in 2018, he broke a foot in practice days before the game and had to extend his wait. It wasn’t until Franks’ season-ending ankle injury in 2019 that Franks finally made his way onto the field. He quickly proved he belonged. He really shined this season, leading the nation in passing yards (375 a game) and touchdowns. His only downside: The Gators closed with a three-game losing streak that ruined any chance they had of winning a national championship.