By Frank Cooney, NFL Draft Scout, The Sports Xchange
There were no surprises when the four finalists were named Monday for this season's Heisman Memorial Trophy.
Well, unless you were thinking Texas running back Bijan Robinson deserved a seat in New York.
Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, TCU quarterback Max Duggan and Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett were named finalists for the Heisman Memorial Trophy on Monday.
The winner will be announced during a live telecast Saturday starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The award presentation ceremony invitee list will be capped at four finalists and is the first time since 2013 that there are four quarterbacks who are finalists. That year, six players attended the ceremony.
Williams, a sophomore, led the Trojans to the Pac-12 championship game, one year after transferring from Oklahoma and heading west along with head coach Lincoln Riley to revive a stagnant program. He has completed 66.1% of his passes for 4,075 yards, while throwing for 37 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He is seeking to be Riley's third Heisman Trophy winner and USC's first Heisman winner since Reggie Bush in 2005, an award that was later vacated.
Stroud is a Heisman finalist for the second consecutive year. He finished fourth in last year's voting. Despite the Buckeyes losing to Michigan, Stroud has Ohio State in the College Football Playoff after passing for 3,340 passing yards and is tied with Williams and Houston's Clayton Tune for the nation's lead with 37 touchdowns, while leading the FBS in passing efficiency.
Duggan led TCU to its first College Football Playoff berth as the Horned Frogs defied all odds before their undefeated season was ruined in the Big 12 title game by Kansas State. Duggan, TCU's first Heisman finalist since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2000, led the Big 12's highest scoring offense, throwing for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. He was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches.
Bennett, a 25-year-old sixth-year senior, led top-ranked and defending national champion Georgia to an undefeated record as the Bulldogs were atop the polls for most of the season. Bennett threw for 3,425 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2022 and has a 26-3 record as starting quarterback. It's Georgia first Heisman finalist since 1992, when Garrison Hearst finished third behind Gino Torretta and Marshall Faulk.
Robinson made a case in 2022 thanks to consistent play and a blend of speed and power. He rushed for 1,508 yards, fifth-most in the country among FBS players, and totaled 20 touchdowns, second-most among all FBS playmakers, trailing only Pitt's Israel Abanikanda (21). He will definitely have some votes, but apparently not enough to earn a trip to the ceremony.
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