Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith is hoping to become the first non-quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy since 2015. File Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask and Alabama Crimson Tide teammates DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones were announced as the 2020 Heisman Memorial Trophy finalists on Thursday.
Voting for this year's award is expected to be much closer than in 2019, when former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was the heavy favorite to win. The Heisman Trophy winner will be revealed Jan. 5 in a virtual ceremony.
Smith made a strong case over the final month of the college football season after fellow Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle went down with an ankle injury. Smith leads the country with 98 catches and 1,511 receiving yards to go with 17 touchdown receptions.
"He's the most electric player in college football," Jones said. "He means the most to us here at Alabama football. You can watch the games and see that, what type of person he is with how he plays."
Smith could become the first non-quarterback to win the Heisman since Alabama running back Derrick Henry in 2015. The last receiver to win the trophy was Michigan star Desmond Howard in 1991.
Jones, a redshirt junior, has thrown for 3,739 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. He has tossed only four interceptions and guided the top-ranked Crimson Tide to a 52-46 win over Florida in the SEC title game last week.
Smith and Jones also are finalists for the Maxwell Award, which is given annually to the best player in the nation.
Lawrence is just the second player in Clemson history to become a Heisman finalist, joining current Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (2015-16). In nine games this season, Lawrence has recorded 2,753 passing yards with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has added 211 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground.
Trask put together one of the best seasons in Florida history in 2020. In 11 games, he threw a school-record 43 touchdowns -- which leads the country by 11. He also leads the country in passing yards per game (375) and set a school record with 4,125 passing yards.
Also revealed Thursday were players who finished in the top 10 in voting. Those players are: Alabama running back Najee Harris at No. 5; Iowa State running back Breece Hall at No. 6; Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 7; BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 8; Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book at No. 9; Florida tight end Kyle Pitts at No. 10.