Heisman: Winston, Manziel, Lynch among 6 finalists
Florida State's Jameis Winston (5) scrambles as Duke's Kelby Brown (59) defends in the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship NCAA football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
NEW YORK (AP) —
Jameis Winston will have plenty of company at the Heisman Trophy
ceremony — though he's not expected to have much competition.
Florida State quarterback was among a record-tying six Heisman finalists
revealed Monday, along with Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, Texas
A&M's Johnny Manziel, Alabama's AJ McCarron, Auburn's Tre Mason and
Boston College's Andre Williams.
Six finalists invited to New York for the presentation are the most since 1994. The winner will be announced Saturday night.
is the overwhelming favorite to win the award now that a sexual assault
complaint against him in Tallahassee, Fla., has been closed without
charges being filed.
He could also become the second freshman to
win the award. Manziel was the first just last year. Famous Jameis, like
Johnny Football last season, is a redshirt freshman.
Winston was a lock to be invited, the rest of the field was muddled.
Some contenders had late stumbles (Manziel and Lynch), others (Mason and
Williams) made late runs.
Manziel will try to join another
exclusive Heisman club by becoming the second player to win the award
twice. Ohio State's Archie Griffin won the award in 1974 and '75. The
Aggies' quarterback is third in the nation in total offense with 368
yards per game.
Lynch led No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-1) to within a victory of a BCS
bid and has set the major college record for yards rushing for a
quarterback this season with 1,815. He also tweeted that he was a
finalist about five minutes before the official announcement was made on
ESPN by 1996 winner Danny Wuerffel.
"NYC here I come!! Thanks to
the coaches teammates and media relation couldn't of did it wt out
them!" the record-setting senior posted.
McCarron completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide (11-1).
will be my first trip to New York City, and I can't put into words how
much it means to me," McCarron said in a statement released by the
school. "I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to represent our
team at the Heisman ceremony. None of this would be possible without my
coaches and teammates."
Mason helped No. 2 Auburn reach the BCS title game, running for 304 yards and four TDs in the SEC championship game. He is ninth in the country in rushing (124 ypg).
I heard the news, I was in disbelief," Mason said in a statement. "For
me to be invited to the Heisman ceremony, I am honored and blessed. I
couldn't have done it without my teammates; this is an honor for all of
Williams is the nation's leading rusher at 175 yards per game and the 16th player in FBS to run for 2,000 yards in a season.
arrival as Florida State's starting quarterback was being touted as a
major event in the spring and he has surpassed the hype. The Alabama
native is on pace to break the NCAA record for passer efficiency rating
(190.1) and has already set records for yards passing (3,820) and TD
passes (38) for a freshman.
Winston's only issues have come off
the field. About a month ago, a year-old sexual assault complaint
against him made by a female Florida State student was given by police
to the state attorney's office for a full investigation.
claimed Winston raped her. Winston's lawyer said the sex was consensual.
Winston continued to play, and play well, during the investigation.
Last week, the state attorney announced there would be no charges filed
in the case, and two days later Winston threw for three touchdown passes
and ran for a score as No. 1 Florida State won the Atlantic Coast
Conference championship game 45-7 against Duke and wrapped up a spot in
the BCS title game.
In the latest straw
poll released Monday by HeismanPundit.com, which has correctly predicted
the last seven winners, Winston received seven of the 10 first-place
votes and 26 points to easily outdistance Lynch (eight points and two
All six finalists are expected to attend the
ceremony, which would match '94 for the most in Heisman history. That
season Colorado tailback Rashaan Salaam won the Heisman, and Penn
State's Ki-Jana Carter and Kerry Collins, along with Alcorn State's
Steve McNair, Alabama's Jay Barker and Miami's Warren Sapp were
In 1989, eight players were invited to the ceremony,
but only four attended. Among the missing was Houston's Andre Ware, who
won the award but was preparing for a game.