NEW YORK — University of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young won the 87th Heisman Trophy on Saturday, given annually to the most outstanding player in college football.
All four finalists -- Young, Ohio State University quarterback C.J. Stroud, University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and University of Michigan defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson -- were at the ceremony, sponsored by New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. The first award went to University of Chicago running back Jay Berwanger in 1936.
Young, a sophomore quarterback, led top-ranked Alabama into the college football playoffs semifinals. The Crimson Tide will face No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 in the Cotton Bowl.
He rallied Alabama (12-1) to an Iron Bowl victory against archrival Auburn, engineering a 97-yard touchdown drive to send the game into overtime. The following week, Young passed for 421 yards and three TDs against previously unbeaten and No. 1 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
According to CBS Sports, Young ranked in the top five nationally with 4,322 yards passing and 43 touchdowns. He has been intercepted just four times this season.
The win made Young, who had been widely considered a favorite for the trophy, the first Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback to win the award, according to ESPN. It was announced two days after he was named winner of the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s best college football player, and the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the top college quarterback in the U.S., WBRC-TV reported. He was also named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday.
Stroud, a freshman quarterback, led Ohio State to a 10-2 record. He is the third straight Buckeyes quarterback to become a Heisman finalist, joining Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields, according to CBS Sports. He completed 70.9% of his passes, throwing for 3,862 yards and 38 touchdowns. He only had five interceptions as he helped the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl berth.
Hutchinson, who won the Lombardi Trophy and was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year, excelled in No. 2 Michigan’s upset 41-27 victory against Ohio State. Hutchison was a presence on defense, registering 15 quarterback pressures and three sacks against Ohio State, USA Today reported. The victory -- the first against Ohio State since 2011 -- gave the Wolverines (12-1) their first Big Ten title since 2004. Michigan also qualified for the college football playoffs, where the Wolverines will face No. 3 Georgia on Dec. 31 in the Orange Bowl.
The senior had 33 solo tackles and 25 assists during the 2021 season. He was trying to become the first defensive player to win the Heisman since Charles Woodson, another Michigan star, won the award in 1997.
Pickett, a fifth-year senior at Pittsburgh, threw for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns to set school single-season records that were held by Dan Marino, CBS Sports reported. He led the Panthers to an 11-2 mark and will lead Pitt against Michigan State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 30. If Pittsburgh wins that game, it will be the Panthers’ first 12-victory season since the program won the national championship in 1976.
Heisman ballots were due following the conference championship games earlier this month.
Last year, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith claimed the trophy.
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