My Heisman Trophy ballot: Penn State QB Trace McSorley deserved some love
McSorley is one of three quarterbacks atop Dennis Dodd's Heisman ballot for 2016
The easy part is handing out the Heisman Trophy.
A certain teenage quarterback from Louisville has all but clinched this year's award. The problem is deciding who gets the rest of the Heisman invites.
The best of the rest includes a list of about seven players featuring two 2,000-yard rushers (San Diego State's Donnell Pumphrey, Texas' D'Onta Foreman) and a couple of defensive players (Michigan's Jabrill Peppers, Alabama's Jonathan Allen).
After much thought and 14 weeks of football, this is how my Heisman ballot would have looked this season.
1. Lamar Jackson, Louisville quarterback: The Cardinals' fantastic leader gave us a lot of reasons down the stretch to consider others for the top choice. Hate to paraphrase the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, but it's body of work and that body remains rockin'.
Jackson hopped on our radar early by accounting for eight touchdowns in one half against Charlotte. (By the way ,it took Charlotte 2 ½ more games to give up eight touchdowns to opposing teams.)
Halfway through the season, Jackson had accounted for more points himself than 61 FBS teams. With five games left in the season, he had become the first ACC player to both rush and pass for 15 touchdowns. He finished 11th in touchdown passes, No. 8 in rushing yardage (as a quarterback!).
All at age 19. Wow.
Also, Jackson as a person seems to be worthy of the next player to live with the Heisman legacy. It will be interesting to see in his junior year how he evolves against defenses that no doubt will evolve against him.
2. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma quarterback: Mayfield has quietly put together one of the best seasons in NCAA history. With a game to go, he is the NCAA's career single-season pass efficiency leader, and it's not even close.
Mayfield has surpassed Russell Wilson's previous record of 191.78 in 2011 with rating of 197.76. OU's quarterback would have to throw for 100 yards and about three picks in the bowl game against Auburn to not get the record.
Mayfield is also No. 1 in completion percentage and first in yards per attempt as well as fourth in touchdown passes and ninth in passing yards.
After those two early losses, Mayfield simply lit it up in helping OU win its second consecutive Big 12 title. In winning the final nine games, he threw 29 touchdowns against only six interceptions.
Mayfield averaged more yards per play in total offense (9.44) than Jackson (8.00) while accounting for 44 touchdowns himself.
He is the picture of what a Heisman finalist should be.
McSorley is the inspirational leader of the Big Ten championships. He and his offense are about as fun to watch as there is in the country. The Nittany Lions hardly ever go under center. McSorley is that hair-on-fire type who leads the country in yards per completion (16.3).
His teammates love him because McSorley is always looking downfield. In the last three games, all of which Penn State absolutely had to win, he threw nine of his 25 touchdown passes without an interception.
Watch the Wisconsin film: McSorley played the game of his life with 384 yards and four touchdowns. After Penn State trailed 28-7, McSorley went all Daryle Lamonica completing 14-of-21 passes -- eight in a row -- for 263 yards. Six of those completions went for at lest 17 yards.
Penn State doesn't win the Big Ten and sniff the playoff without Trace McSorley.
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