New York, NY – December 6, 2010 – 1991 Heisman Trophy Winner Desmond Howard, on behalf of the Heisman Trophy Trust, announced this evening the finalists for the 76th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy on ESPN’s 6pm EST edition of SportsCenter. The four finalists for this year’s award are University of Oregon running back LaMichael James, Stanford University quarterback Andrew Luck, Boise State University quarterback Kellen Moore and Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton.
All four finalists will be invited to New York for the live Heisman Trophy announcement on Saturday, December 11, which will air on ESPN at 8pm EST presented by Nissan North America. For the third straight year, two finalists will face each other in the BCS National Championship Game as James will go up against Newton on January 10, 2011.
James is looking to take home Oregon’s first Heisman Trophy award. The sophomore rushed for 1,682 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He finished the season with 21 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. James leads the nation in average rushing yards per game with 152.9. James broke the Pac-10 record for rushing yards by a sophomore and ranks second on Oregon’s single-season rushing list, 40 yards away from equaling Jonathan Stewart’s record. James holds the Oregon single-season record for most rushing touchdowns scored.
Luck would be Stanford’s second Heisman winner. Jim Plunkett won the award in 1970. This season, Luck passed for 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for three touchdowns. Luck holds the Stanford school record for single-season touchdown passes and total yards on offense (3,489). The junior is one of four quarterbacks in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a single season. Luck is also on pace to set single-season records for completion percentage and passing efficiency rating.
Moore is the first Boise State player to be named a Heisman finalist. Moore finished seventh in the 2009 Heisman Trophy voting. This season, Moore passed for 3,506 yards and 33 touchdowns. Moore has broken school records for career completions (803), passing yards (10,528) and touchdowns (97). Moore is one of five active players with 10,000 passing yards and is the only junior on the list. Moore is also one of four Broncos to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season, and is the only one to do so three times.
Newton attempts to become Auburn’s third Heisman winner, following in the footsteps of Pat Sullivan (1971) and Bo Jackson (1985). This season, Newton passed for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,419 yards and 20 touchdowns. Newton is the first SEC player to ever throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. He also became only the second player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to throw and run for 20-plus touchdowns in a single season, joining 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Tebow.
The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the United States as determined by 870 media representatives from six regions across the country, every living Heisman winner and one overall fan vote through a partnership with Nissan North America, Heisman’s presenting sponsor.
“This year’s finalists have had an extraordinary year on the football field and we’re excited to welcome them to New York for what should be an exciting and memorable weekend for each of the finalists,” said Robert Whalen, Executive Director of The Heisman Trophy Trust. “The Heisman Fraternity is an elite group and it will be an honor to celebrate the newest member this weekend.”
Heisman Memorial Trophy Awards Dinner: Tickets are still available to the 2010 Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner on Monday, December 13. The winner of the 76th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy will be presented his award at this event. Three previous Heisman winners will also be recognized: Joe Bellino (Navy, 1960) on the 50th Anniversary of his award, Bo Jackson (Auburn, 1985) on the 25th Anniversary of his award and Chris Weinke (Florida State, 2000) on his 10th Anniversary. Tickets can be purchased online at www.heisman.com or by calling the Heisman Trophy Offices at (212) 425-7000. Only ticketed guests will be permitted at the event.