Young, Hutchinson among 4 finalists for Heisman Trophy
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, and Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson were named finalists for the 2021 Heisman Trophy on Monday.
The Heisman Trophy Trust will announce the winner Saturday in New York, with the ceremony returning to its standard routine after being held virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here's information on the four finalists:
Key stats: 68% completion, 4,322 passing yards, 43 TDs
Young is the favorite to win the Heisman, and rightfully so. The sophomore signal-caller brilliantly led the No. 1 team in the country in 2021, helping Alabama average 42.5 points per game - the fourth-best mark in the nation. Young also posted arguably his best performance of the year against Georgia's vaunted defense last week, breaking the SEC record with 421 passing yards. He could be the second consecutive Crimson Tide player to win the Heisman after wide receiver DeVonta Smith took the award home last year.
Key stats: 70.9% completion, 3,862 passing yards, 38 TDs
Stroud wasn't able to lead Ohio State to the College Football Playoff in his first season as a starter, but that doesn't mean he wasn't stellar on the field. With the freshman quarterback leading the way - while going 10-2 as a starter - the program finished the 2021 campaign with college football's No. 1 offense, scoring over 45 points per contest. Stroud could become the first Buckeye to win the sport's most prestigious individual honor since quarterback Troy Smith in 2006.
Key stats: 67.2% completion, 4,319 passing yards, 42 TDs
Pickett sure doesn't regret returning for his fifth season at Pitt in 2021. He broke school records for both passing yards and touchdowns while helping the Panthers win the ACC for the first time. Pickett's campaign wasn't flawless - four of his seven interceptions came in the final four games of the year - but he sure ended his college career in style.
Key stats: 58 tackles, 13 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
Hutchinson's the only non-quarterback on this list, and the senior is easily the most interesting name of the group - he can become the first defensive player to win the Heisman since Michigan's Charles Woodson in 1997. Hutchinson set a school record in sacks this season and helped the Wolverines earn their first playoff berth. The disruptive pass-rusher also enjoyed the most impressive performance of his career in Michigan's most important game, recording three sacks and 15 pressures against Ohio State.