Ohio State will have multiple representatives at the Heisman Trophy ceremony for the first time ever.
Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young are both among the finalists for this year's Heisman Trophy, which were announced on Monday night.
They join LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, an Ohio State transfer who is the heavy favorite to win the award, and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts as the finalists for this year's ceremony, which will take place Saturday in New York.
Congratulations to the 2019 Heisman Finalists! pic.twitter.com/X59a6OpbyF— The Heisman Trophy (@HeismanTrophy) December 9, 2019
Fields becomes the second consecutive Ohio State quarterback to be invited to the Heisman ceremony, following Dwayne Haskins, who finished third behind Oklahoma's Kyler Murray and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa last year. Before Haskins, Ohio State hadn't had a Heisman finalist since Troy Smith won the award in 2006.
Young becomes Ohio State's first-ever defensive player to be named a Heisman Trophy finalist. He's just the fourth defensive lineman to be a Heisman finalist and the ninth defensive player overall. He's the first defensive player invited to the Heisman ceremony since former Michigan linebacker/safety Jabrill Peppers in 2016 and the first defensive lineman invited since Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009.
Overall, Young and Fields become Ohio State's sixth and seventh finalists since the Heisman Trust began inviting multiple finalists for the ceremony in 1982, also joining 1995 winner Eddie George, 1984 finalist Keith Byars and 1996 finalist Orlando Pace.
Fields, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, has completed 208 of 308 passing attempts for 2,953 yards and 40 touchdowns with only one interception – the best touchdown-interception ratio among all Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks – and has also rushed for 471 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Buckeyes this season.
Young, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, has recorded 16.5 sacks this season – the most among all FBS players and a new Ohio State single-season record – among 21 total tackles for loss and 44 total tackles, along with six forced fumbles.
Together, Fields and Young have led the Buckeyes to a 13-0 record this season and a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Ohio State becomes the first school to have two finalists invited to the Heisman ceremony since Oklahoma in 2016, when Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (the year before he actually won the award) and wide receiver Dede Westbrook were invited, and the first to have a finalist on both sides of the ball. It's the seventh team to have two finalists in the same year (though the Heisman Trust no longer recognizes USC's Reggie Bush as the award winner in 2005 after he forfeited the award for NCAA violations).
|2019||OHIO STATE||QB JUSTIN FIELDS, DE CHASE YOUNG|
|2016||OKLAHOMA||QB BAKER MAYFIELD, WR DEDE WESTBROOK|
|2005||USC||QB MATT LEINART, RB REGGIE BUSH|
|2004||USC||QB MATT LEINART, RB REGGIE BUSH|
|2004||OKLAHOMA||QB JASON WHITE, RB ADRIAN PETERSON|
|2002||MIAMI (FL)||QB KEN DORSEY, RB WILLIS MCGAHEE|
|1994||PENN STATE||QB KERRY COLLINS, RB KI-JANA CARTER|
Before this year, the only previous time Ohio State had two finishers in the top-five of Heisman Trophy voting was in 1973, when John Hicks finished second, Archie Griffin finished fifth and Randy Gradishar finished sixth. The Buckeyes are expected to have three top finishers in the voting once again this year, as running back J.K. Dobbins was also considered to be a potential Heisman finalist.
Burrow, who played at Ohio State from 2015-17 before leaving as a graduate transfer to become the starting quarterback at LSU, is expected to win the award in runaway fashion and could potentially even challenge Smith's record for the highest percentage of possible points received (91.63%).
Should Fields or Young pull off the upset, they would become the eighth Heisman winner in school history, joining Les Horvath (1944), Vic Janowicz (1950), Howard "Hopalong" Cassady (1955), Griffin (1974 and 1975), George and Smith.