The Heisman Trophy looks like it has a strong chance of coming to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the third time in 12 years, with Alabama Crimson Tide teammates Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith taking up two of the four spots on the Heisman finalist list that was revealed Thursday night.
Jones, the mega-efficient quarterback, and Smith, the deserving wide receiver, have helped each other to this point and Alabama to an 11-0 record, an SEC championship and a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff. They are up against Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, the long shot of the bunch despite 43 touchdown passes (10 more than anyone else), and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a preseason favorite who missed two games because of COVID-19.
The winner will be announced Jan. 5, but how will voters separate the first Heisman finalist teammates since 1982? Or will they work against each other and open an opportunity for Lawrence? Alabama running back Najee Harris was fifth in voting or it would have been an awkward ceremony for Lawrence with three Tide players.
If SEC voting is any indication, Smith might have overtaken Jones in public favor. After having 98 catches for 1,511 yards, Smith won Offensive Player of the Year from conference coaches and media. But Jones has been the season-long front-runner, and quarterbacks have won nine of the past 10 Heismans. A wide receiver has not won the award since Desmond Howard in 1991. But 2020 has proven to be as unique as any year.
Don’t worry about Lawrence. His consolation will come when he is the No. 1 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.