Mayfield, Love, Jackson Named Heisman Finalists

Ross Houston
December 5, 2017

6, took one step closer to winning Oklahoma's sixth Heisman Trophy when he was named a finalist for the 2017 version of the award Monday evening.

While it doesn't seem like he put up the eye-popping numbers that he did a year ago, Lamar Jackson was almost as good in 2017 as he was last season. San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny was a distant fourth.

Jackson is the fifth player to win the award and return as a finalist the following year, joining Oklahoma's Jason White (2003-04), Southern Cal's Matt Leinart (2004-05), Florida's Tim Tebow (2008-09), and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel (2013-14). The 2017 victor will be announced Saturday during a 7 p.m. CT ceremony at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square that will air live on ESPN. Despite 369 pass attempts, he only threw five interceptions, noted the AJC's Dawgnation report on 5 Sooners players to know before the game. He also has five rushing touchdowns on the year.

The defending Heisman victor will have a chance to become the second player ever to win the award twice.

If it holds, Mayfield's efficiency rating of 203.8 would shatter the record he set a year ago of 196.39.

No. 2-ranked OU, which behind Mayfield leads the nation in yards per game (583.3) and yards per play (8.4; next highest is 7.6), will make its 51st bowl appearance when it takes on No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on January 1 at 4:10 p.m. CT.

Jackson rushed for 156 yards in the Cardinals' regular-season finale, breaking his own Louisville record for the most 100-yard rushing games in a season with nine.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Jackson is in the top 16 in the country in both passing (3,489) and rushing (1,443) yards with 42 total touchdowns (25 passing, 17 rushing).

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