On Monday night, the following players were named as finalists for the 2016 Heisman Trophy:
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
From the outset of our first poll of the season, Lamar Jackson has been in pole position. The contenders have gained and lost ground throughout the season with Deshaun Watson cementing himself as the number two candidate during our last poll.
How will the Heisman finalists stack up in our final poll? Can Watson or another candidate finally overtake Jackson or is it his trophy to take home?
Without any further ado, the final 2016 installment of the TSS Heisman Poll:
What you’ll see each week in the TSS Heisman Poll:
* The top total vote getters, with quotes from the voters in support of their candidate.
* A list of all players receiving votes.
* Poll notes that look at some interesting facts, figures and trends of the poll.
* The TSS Roll Call of voters, with links to their respective blogs and twitter accounts.
1) Lamar Jackson (QB – Louisville): 16 points, 29.6% of votes, 4 first-place votes
Last week ranking: No. 1
Last week: Idle
Season: 220 of 382 passing (57% completions) for 3390 yards with 30 TD against 9 INT and 1538 yards rushing, 6.5 ypc, 21 rushing TD
Yes, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner had a less-than-stellar ending to the season, and that probably helps close the gap at least a little bit. But did anyone else turn in the kind of season that merits overtaking what Jackson did over the course of the season? I don’t think so. Lamar Jackson wins this one, easily.
– Kevin McGuire, The Comeback
Look, I know he stumbled to end the season, but the things that he did on the football field through three-quarters of 2016 were simply unbelievable. He is more talented than anyone in the running and he has the stats to show it. If this award is supposed to go to the most talented player in college football, then Jackson is still your winner by a landslide in my opinion.
– Phil Harrison, The Student Section
It won’t be as big of a split as it looked to be earlier this season but it’ll be Lamar.
– Michael Abelson, The Student Section
2) Deshaun Watson (QB – Clemson): 12 points, 22.2% of votes, 2 first-place votes
Last week ranking: No. 2
Last week: Beat Virginia Tech 42-35; 23 of 34 passing (67%) for 288 yards, 3 passing TD vs 1 INT, 85 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD
Season: 329 of 487 passing (67.6%) for 3914 yards, 37 TD vs 15 INT, 529 yards rushing and 6 rushing TD
Watson, set to graduate soon as a junior, deserves to hold the Heisman in the hand that he isn’t holding his diploma with. In leading the Tigers to their second straight ACC title and CFB Playoff berth, Watson eclipsed his touchdown totals from the previous season and once again, the Tigers’ offense bailed out a sketchy defensive performance. He’s the best player in college football and should be rewarded as such.
– Bart Doan, The Student Section
Watson is everything that you want in a Heisman winner. He’s a winner and has led the Clemson Tigers to back-to-back ACC Championships. Lamar Jackson had a great season but folded down the stretch. Watson should be rewarded for the consistency of his accomplishments. If I had a pick of any college player in the Nation to win one game for me out of this years crop of Heisman candidates, I’d pick Watson.
– Kevin Causey, The Student Section
3) Jake Browning (QB – Washington): 5 points, 9.2% of votes, 1 first-place vote
Last week ranking: Not ranked
Last week: Beat Colorado 41-10; 9 of 24 for 118 yards with 2 TD; 1 rushing TD
Season: 223 of 353 (63.2% completions) for 3280 yards passing with 42 TD and 7 INT; 4 rushing TD
Browning met a speed bump against USC, but he led his team to the Playoff and while he doesn’t have Lamar Jackson’s touchdowns, he has a much better efficiency rating and far fewer turnovers.
– Yesh Ginsburg, The Student Section
Also receiving votes: Baker Mayfield (QB- Oklahoma) 3 points; D’Onta Foreman (RB- Texas) 3 points; Curtis Samuel (RB- Ohio State) 3 points; Jalen Hurts (QB- Alabama); Donnel Pumphrey (RB- San Diego State); Corey Davis (WR- WMU); Adoree’ Jackson (CB- USC) 1 point; QB Logan Woodside (QB- Toledo) 1 point; Austin Carr (WR- Northwestern) 1 point
– Winners from our final Heisman poll in the past: Let’s take a look at our past Heisman polls from 2011 to 2015 at this point in the voting and see who we awarded the trophy to…..
2011: Robert Griffin III
2012: Johnny Manziel
2013: Jameis Winston
2014: Marcus Mariota
2015: Derrick Henry
– Last week, our Heisman poll morphed into a two man race between Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. This week, that continued with Jackson running the table from our first poll to our last poll.
– Lamar Jackson is our overall pick for the Heisman but it is interesting that he finished the final poll with the least support of the year from our voters. Four of nine voters placed him first on their ballots. Three voters left him off their top three. Last season, Derrick Henry set a record in our poll by winning with the lowest overall percentage of the total vote. He finished with 31.6%. Jackson finished this season with just 29.6% of the total vote. The big difference was the race between first, second and third was much closer last year.
– Deshaun Watson made a late run at the Heisman Trophy as he finished second in our poll, just four total votes away from Jackson. Watson finished third in our 2015 poll and was also just four total votes away from the winner (Derrick Henry). Watson also placed on seven ballots (just like Jackson) but only garnered two first place votes. Six of nine voters placed Watson on their ballots as he is clearly the player that is in position to win the trophy if for some reason Jackson does not.
– Baker Mayfield, Dede Westbrook and Jabrill Peppers are the other three finalists for the 2016 Heisman Trophy. These three players combined to place on just one of nine ballots in our final poll as Baker Mayfield placed third on a single ballot. This shows that this year is a run-away for the top two vote getters and that overall it was a very weak year for star power in college football. Those three players deserve the accolades that they receive but our voters clearly don’t believe that they are head and shoulders above the rest of the college football world.
– Congratulations to Lamar Jackson. He had an electric season that was built on his ability to make big play after big play. Our voters have dubbed him the 2016 TSS Heisman Trophy winner. Deshaun Watson also stands tall as our runner-up to the prestigious trophy.
– In conclusion, I would like to thank the readers for once again tuning in to see who we would crown the winner of the Heisman Trophy. I would also like to say a big thank you to the voters. Without them, this poll would not be possible. Thank You.
The Comeback Heisman Poll Roll Call