The 2023 college football season has been one to remember. From the controversial College Football Playoff announcement to standout performances by certain individual players, it has certainly been tough to pick the things that stand out most. Now, the Heisman Trophy finalists for 2023 have been revealed.
Who are our four finalists? Do these four deserve to be finalists? Let’s look at each of the candidates.
Michael Penix Jr.
Our first finalist is the only one who will be playing in the College Football Playoff. This is Michael Penix Jr., the QB of the Washington Huskies. The strongest case for Penix is that he led his team to the College Football Playoff.
On top of this, he has solid stats to back it up. This includes 4,218 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes. However, the main con with Penix compared to our other finalists is the number of interceptions he has. Penix has nine, which is double to triple the number of interceptions that our other finalists have.
If it is about success on the field, Penix should be tough to beat. If it is about the best individual stats, Penix may have his work cut out for him.
The next finalist is a rival of Penix. This is Bo Nix, who is the QB of the Oregon Ducks. He just played Penix in the Pac-12 Championship.
Unfortunately, he came up short in that matchup along with the one in the regular season. However, Nix and Oregon still had a season to remember. Nix had 4,145 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes. As a bonus, he had just three interceptions this season.
If you value a quarterback who can protect the football better while putting up similar offensive numbers, Nix may be the man to beat.
Daniels is someone who has been on the rise in both NFL Draft discussion and Heisman Trophy discussion. As the QB of LSU, he was never quite in the College Football Playoff mix. However, he was quietly putting up unbelievable numbers this season.
Daniels has both the most passing yards (4,946) and touchdown passes (50) of our Heisman Trophy finalists. He also did all of this without appearing in a conference championship game. If you are curious about how well he protects the football, Daniels had just four interceptions this season.
If you want to award the player with the best offensive stats, Daniels is likely going to be the one to beat.
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Finally, we have the son of a legendary wide receiver. However, Marvin Harrison Jr. is quickly making a name of his own in the college football world. He is widely regarded as the best wide receiver in the country and is expected to be the first wide receiver taken in next year’s NFL Draft.
So, what kind of numbers did he put up for the Ohio State Buckeyes this season? He had 14 touchdown receptions and 1,211 receiving yards. That is second and ninth in the country respectively.
If you are looking for a player outside of a quarterback who is deserving of this award, Harrison is worth consideration.