Aside from the 2016 Army vs. Navy game, the 2016 College Football Season is in the books which means it’s time to start evaluating who deserves the 2016 Heisman Trophy. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson has been the leader of the pack for much of the season, but he didn’t get one last chance to stake his claim as Louisville missed the 2016 ACC Championship Game.
Was another Heisman Trophy candidate able to pass Jackson on the final weekend of the college football season? Or did Lamar Jackson remain the favorite to bring home the hardware next Saturday night?
Find out in the final Heisman Trophy projections of the 2016 season.
5. RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas — Foreman led the nation in rushing despite only playing in 12 games while second-place finisher Donnel Pumphrey played 13 with San Diego State. Foreman carried the ball 323 times for 2,028 yards and scored 15 touchdowns on the ground for the 5-7 Longhorns. Foreman also announced last week that he would be declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft after it was announced that the school would be replacing head coach Charlie Strong with Houston head coach Tom Herman.
— D’Onta Foreman (@D33_foreman) November 30, 2016
4. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma — After a disastrous 1-2 start to the season for the Sooners, Mayfield helped lead Oklahoma to a 10-game winning streak that ended with another Big 12 Championship following a 38-20 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Against the Cowboys, Mayfield completed 13-of-19 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, Baker completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,669 yards with 38 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
???? @KingJames celebration sighting????
Baker Mayfield hits Joe Mixon with a strike and TD pic.twitter.com/o7bRVcNLtr
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 3, 2016
3. WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma — Despite having to leave Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State after taking a massive hit, Westbrook still added four catches for 111 yards and a touchdown to his ridiculous season totals. Westbrook finished fifth in college football with 1,465 receiving yards on 74 catches and scored 16 touchdowns. With no real threat on the other side of the field, it was impressive to watch Westbrook dominate week in and week out as he ended up with at least 100 yards receiving in eight of his 12 games.
Dede Westbrook Rip???? https://t.co/2QU1bnIcLF
— Football Is Life (@FootbaIl_Tweets) December 3, 2016
2. QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson — Watson made a furious run at the Heisman Trophy over the last two weeks of the season. In Week 12, Watson completed 27-of-33 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-7 beating of the rival South Carolina Gamecocks. In Week 13, Deshaun completed 23-of-34 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns while adding 17 carries for 85 yards with two touchdowns on the ground as he led the Tigers to another ACC Championship.
Win and in?
No. 3 Clemson makes its playoff case, holds on to beat No. 23 Virginia Tech 42-35 behind FIVE touchdowns from Deshaun Watson. pic.twitter.com/S31R40tdC2
— ESPN (@espn) December 4, 2016
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville — While the Cardinals may have lost their last two games of the season to finish a disappointing 9-3, it certainly wasn’t due to the play of Lamar Jackson. In Week 11 against the Houston Cougars, Jackson was sacked 11 times and hurried nine times as his offensive line gave him zero help. He still managed to throw for 211 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions.
— LouisvilleFootball (@UofLFootball) December 3, 2016
In the regular season-ending loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, Jackson completed 16-of-25 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 25 carries for 171 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as the Cardinals lost 41-38. That big performance allowed Jackson to end the season completing 57.6 percent of his passes for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns while adding 1,538 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
It wouldn’t be shocking to me to see the voters give the edge to Watson because he won more games and brought home the ACC Championship. That being said, I believe Jackson deserves it because he had a better individual season than Watson with much less talent around him. Deshaun Watson might have the best set of weapons around him in the country while Lamar Jackson did most of the work himself.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]