2016 Heisman Trophy finalists named

The finalists for the 82nd annual Heisman Memorial Trophy are Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook.

All five finalists will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy announcement on Saturday, December 10, which will broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST, presented by Nissan North America.

Jackson, a true sophomore, is Louisville's first Heisman finalist. The 6-3, 218-pound Jackson, who hails from Pompano Beach, Fla., guided the Cardinals to a 9-3 record while accumulating 4,928 yards of total offense and 51 total touchdowns. He threw for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns through the air and racked up 1,538 yards and 21 scores on the ground to become just the third player to pass for 30 TDs and rush for 20 TDs in the same season. He is also the first player in FBS history with 3,300 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in a season. For his efforts, Jackson was named the ACC's Player of the Year.

Mayfield is one of eight Oklahoma players to be named a Heisman finalist and joins teammate Dede Westbrook as the school's first since Sam Bradford won the trophy in 2008. Mayfield, a redshirt junior, led the nation in passing efficiency this season with a mark of 197.75, which currently stands above the FBS mark of 191.8 set by Wisconsin's Russell Wilson in 2011. The 6-1, 212-pounder from Austin, Texas, threw for 3,669 yards and 38 touchdowns while leading the Sooners to a 10-2 record and the Big 12 title. He finished fourth in the 2015 Heisman balloting.

Peppers is Michigan's fifth Heisman finalist and first since Chris Perry in 2003. He is the first defensive player to be named a Heisman finalist since Notre Dame's Manti Te'o in 2012. The versatile 6-1, 205-pound true junior from East Orange, NJ, was all over the field for the Wolverines this season, totaling 71 tackles, including 15 behind the line of scrimmage, one interception, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, 167 rushing yards (with three scores), 310 yards punt return yards (with a touchdown) and 260 yards on kickoff returns. He helped lead Michigan to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Orange Bowl.

Watson returns for a second-straight year to the Heisman ceremony after finishing third in the voting in 2015. The true junior from Gainesville, Ga., passed for 3,914 yards and 37 touchdowns while also rushing for 529 yards and 6 scores. His 4,443 yards of total offense was eighth-best nationally while his combined 43 touchdowns running and passing was tied for fourth-best among Power 5 conference players. The 6-2, 210-pounder led Clemson to its second-straight ACC title as well as its second-consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff.

Westbrook, a senior, is one of eight Oklahoma players to be named a Heisman finalist and joins teammate Baker Mayfield as the first Sooner to be so honored since Sam Bradford won the Heisman in 2008. The 6-0, 176-pounder from Cameron, Texas, caught 74 passes for 1,465 yards and a school-record 16 touchdown receptions as Oklahoma finished 10-2 and won the Big 12 title. He was second among all Power 5 players in receiving yardage and third in receiving yardage per game while averaging a stellar 19.81 yards per catch. One of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, Westbrook is the first receiver to be named a Heisman finalist since Amari Cooper in 2014.

The Heisman Memorial Trophy electorate, which selects the finalists and the Heisman winner, is comprised of 929 voters, including 870 media members and 58 former Heisman winners. The public at large is granted one overall fan vote, thanks to Heisman's Premier Partner, Nissan North America.

"This outstanding class of Heisman finalists represent the best in College Football this season. We are excited to welcome the next Heisman Trophy winner into the elite Heisman fraternity this weekend." said Rob Whalen, Executive Director of the Heisman Trophy Trust.

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