Desmond Howard (1991) announced tonight that the finalists for the 85th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy are LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. The announcement of the finalists was made on ESPN’s 6:00 PM EST telecast of its Monday Night Countdown show.
The four finalists will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy announcement on Saturday, December 14, which will broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST, presented by Nissan North America.
Burrow, a fifth-year senior, is the first Tiger to be named a Heisman finalist since Tyrone Mathieu (2011) and hopes to become LSU’s second winner, joining running back Billy Cannon (1959). The 6-foot-4, 216-pounder from Athens, Ohio, is 22-3 as a two-year starter at LSU after transferring from Ohio State before the 2018 season and has led the Tigers to a 13-0 record, a 2019 SEC title and the top seed in the 2019 College Football Playoff. He is the second quarterback in school history to record back-to-back 10-win seasons and he was a unanimous choice as SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Burrow has thrown for 4,715 yards and 48 TDs, both SEC records, on 342-of-439 passing for an NCAA-best 77.9% completion percentage, better than the 2008 NCAA record (76.7%), with only six interceptions. His passer rating of 201.5 is the highest in the country for quarterbacks playing at least 10 games and ahead of the NCAA record. Burrow has thrown at least four TDs in a game seven times this year, has completed better than 82.0% of his passes four times and better than 78.0% of attempts seven times and has completed no lower than 71% of his passes in any game this year. He also has 289 yards rushing with three TDs.
Fields, a true sophomore who transferred to Ohio State from Georgia in 2019, and Young, are Ohio State’s sixth and seventh Heisman finalists and follow Dwayne Haskins’ finalist appearance in 2018. Fields and Young would become the Buckeyes’ eighth winner of the Heisman. The first teammates to be named Heisman finalists since 2016, Fields and Young helped lead Ohio State to a 13-0 record, a Big Ten championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Fields completed 208-of-308 pass attempts for 2,953 yards and 40 touchdowns with just one interception with a completion percentage of 67,5% while also rushing for 471 yards and scored 10 rushing touchdowns. Fields, who threw at least two TD passes in every game this year including four TDs five times and three or more nine times, was named the 2019 Big Ten Offensive Player and Quarterback of the Year. The 2019 Big Ten Championship Game Offensive MVP, he is third nationally in passing efficiency (190.30) among quarterbacks who have played in at least 10 games and he is second in the country with 300 points responsible for.
Hurts, a fourth-year senior, marks the fourth straight year Oklahoma has featured a Heisman Trophy finalist, including 2017 winner Baker Mayfield and 2018 winner Kyler Murray. He is the Sooners’ ninth different finalist and their 11th finalist overall while he tries to become Okahoma’s eighth winner of the award. Hurts, who transferred to Oklahoma in 2019 from Alabama, led the Sooners to a 12-1 record, a Big 12 title, and a spot in the College Football Playoff. He has thrown for 3,634 yards on 222-of-309 passing with 32 TDs to go with 1,255 yards rushing on 219 carries (5.7 yards per carry) with 18 TDs. Hurts also has one receiving TD. He averaged 279.5 passing yards and 96.5 rushing yards and accounted for 51 touchdowns, tied for the national lead. His 71.8% completion percentage is on pace to break Mayfield’s 2016 school record (70.9) and his 200.3 passing efficiency is behind only Burrow of quarterbacks who have played in at least 10 games. He has helped Oklahoma’s offense lead the country in yards per play (8.2) while the Sooners are second nationally in yards per game (554.2). Hurts is also first in the country in yards per pass attempt (11.8) and yards per completion (16.4). His total offense of 376.1 yards per game is third in the country.
Young, a true junior, is just the fourth defensive lineman Heisman finalist, joining Steve Emtman (1991), Warren Sapp (1994) and Ndamukong Suh (2009). He will be the fourth top 10 defensive lineman vote-getter since Suh, joining Alabama’s Quinnen Williams (2018, eighth), Alabama’s Jonathan Allen (2016, seventh) and South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney (2012, sixth). Young was named the 2019 Big Ten Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year and won the 2019 Chicago Tribune Silver Football award as the Big Ten’s top player, as voted by conference head coaches. He is the first Ohio State defensive player to win it and the first defensive player to win it since 2009. Young, in just 11 games, leads the nation in sacks (16.5) — a school record and the most in the Big Ten in 21 years. He is the first Buckeye to record 10 or more sacks in multiple seasons since Mike Vrabel. He is first nationally in tackles for loss per game (1.91) and is tied for fourth with 21 tackles for loss, including 16 solo, for minus-129 yards (second-best in the country). Behind Young, Ohio State’s defense is second in the NCAA in total defense (247.6) and third in scoring defense (12.5).
The Heisman Memorial Trophy electorate, which selects the finalists and the Heisman winner, is comprised of 927 voters, including 870 media members and 56 former Heisman winners. The public at large is granted one overall fan vote, thanks to Heisman’s Premier Partner, Nissan North America.
“The four Heisman finalists are a remarkable group of young men with outstanding credentials,” said Rob Whalen, Executive Director of the Heisman Trophy Trust. “We look forward to celebrating their season accomplishments this weekend and crowning one of them the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner.”
Tickets are still available for the 85th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner on Sunday, Dec. 15 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The winner will be presented with his award at this event, with past Heisman winners Steve Owens (Oklahoma, 1969), the late Rashaan Salaam (Colorado, 1994) and Mark Ingram (Alabama, 2009) also being honored on the 50th, 25th and 10th anniversaries of their Heisman wins, respectively. The Trust will also recognize former gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi as the 2019 Heisman Humanitarian Award winner in recognition of her service and dedication to underprivileged youth.
Media looking to obtain credentials for the 2019 Heisman weekend can apply via the Media tab of http://www.heisman.com.