In a special ESPN announcement on Monday, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, Alabama’s Trent Richardson, LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball were named this year’s Heisman Trophy finalists.
Luck, of course, is a finalist for the second consecutive season and was the odds-on favorite to win the award at the beginning of the season. He lost to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in 2010, despite the eventual Carolina Panthers quarterback struggling with off-the-field controversy for the vast majority of the year.
Baylor’s Griffin is the first player in school history to get an invitation to the Heisman dinner in New York. Prior to this year, they never had a player finish better than fourth in voting.
Richardson joins 2009 Heisman winner Mark Ingram as the second Alabama running back to be nominated for the award in the last three years.
Wisconsin’s Bell is a single touchdown shy of Barry Sanders’ all-time record of 39 touchdowns.
And, finally, Mathieu has been regarded by many as the biggest difference-maker and most prolific playmaker on this year’s undefeated LSU squad.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday night, in New York.