The impact of passing and running the ball propelled Louisville’s Lamar Jackson to the 2016 Heisman Trophy. Here is how the voting broke down:
- Lamar Jackson
- Deshaun Watson
- Baker Mayfield
Now that the award has been presented, I am at liberty to reveal my vote.
Watson was a finalist last season, and did not disappoint in 2016. The junior threw for 3,914 yards and 37 touchdowns. In the big games, Watson was at his best. Check out this production:
Louisville – 306 passing yards and 5 touchdown passes
Pitt – 580 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes
Virginia Tech 288 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes
The best player on one of the best teams in the nation, Watson looks to cap off this season by leading Clemson to their first national title in 35 years.
Another ACC quarterback, Jackson for most of the season was the consensus leader for the Heisman. The sophomore led the Cardinals to an 8-3 record by throwing for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns. Add to that his production on the ground (1,538 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns) and you have a strong case for Jackson. Right or wrong, the quarterback gets the praise when a team wins and the blame when his team loses. Playing the most important position on the field, Jackson was not able to produce a strong closing argument as the Cardinals finished the season with losses to unranked Houston and Kentucky.
Perhaps a bit of stretch, after all he was not a finalist. Call me old school, but I still think rushing for 2,000 yards matters. Foreman led the nation in rushing by eclipsing that mark (2,028 to be exact) and produced 15 touchdowns on the ground. All while he played in a pass happy league, the Big 12. I submitted my ballot on the day 1994 Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam died. He won the award for becoming only the fourth player in history to rush for over 2,000 yards (2,055). That amount of yardage deserves recognition.