The 2016 Heisman Trophy finalists were announced Monday night. Not surprisingly, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson leads the way.
The pleasant surprise, however, was that four more players made the cut to New York: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Jackson, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Jackson has been the runaway favorite all year, despite Louisville's late-season slide, but the Heisman ceremony is a nice way to acknowledge what other players have done throughout the year. (And if nothing else, feed 'em and put 'em in a nice hotel.)
But for every finalist list, there's usually an ensuing list of snubs. And these four definitely have arguments to make.
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas: All Foreman did this year was lead the nation in rushing with 2,028 yards. Oh, and did we mention he did it in only 11 games? Foreman is a classic production back like 2015 winner Derrick Henry from Alabama, who had 1,980 yards at the end of the season. The Heisman voting has favored such players in recent years, including former Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon (2014) and Boston College running back Andre Williams (2013). The difference, of course, is that those players were on teams with winning records. Texas was 5-7 this year. Plus, with Mayfield and Westbrook getting invitations, there probably weren't enough regional votes for Foreman.
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: Peppers represents the defensive vote, but there are already plenty of people who are, shall we say, not thrilled about the selection. And if a defensive player is going to make the final five, Allen has a legitimate case. He is tied for first on the Crimson Tide defense with 8.5 sacks and has 13 tackles for loss. He also has an astonishing 15 quarterback hurries. But besides the pressure he puts on quarterbacks and running backs, he also has converted two fumble recoveries into touchdowns. Alabama's defense is a beast up front, and there are many tremendous players on the unit, but Allen is as disruptive as any edge rusher in college football.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Cook didn't have the most yards or the most touchdowns, but he also didn't have the most touches. Carry-for-carry, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more valuable player to a team than Cook. He's the best running back to ever pass through Florida State, and he's a complete runner who has speed and power. Cook's lasting legacy will be interesting. He's universally regarded as a top player, but he just never seems to get the credit he deserves.
Jake Browning, QB, Washington: Browning had a tough outing in the Pac-12 Championship Game against Colorado (9-of-24 passing, 118 yards, two touchdowns), and he wasn't particularly good in a key late-season game against USC. That's probably why he didn't receive enough votes. Still, Browning was among the best passers in the country with a rating of 176.51 That was fifth nationally and tops in the Pac-12. Also, 42 passing touchdowns is nothing to dismiss. His chemistry with receivers John Ross and Dante Pettis is what made the Huskies' offense so explosive. He could have been a Heisman finalist based on the fact he was a successful quarterback on a playoff-bound team alone.
What do you think? Were there any other players who deserved a trip who were snubbed? Sound off in the comments section below.