Week 14 Heisman Watch: Finalists Predictionby Alex Kielar December 5, 2021 1 comment
Conference Championship weekend was quite the showcase for the Heisman contenders in action. Before we get to the semifinal games at the end of the month, the Heisman winner will be crowned next weekend in New York City. The finalists will be named in about 24 hours after voting ends at 6 pm EST tomorrow. Before the actual finalists are named, here are my picks at who the four finalists will be.
1. Bryce Young, Alabama
Last week I had said there was no runaway favorite this season and that Young would win with a peak performance against Georgia. With or without a win, the sophomore quarterback would be the winner with big numbers. Not only did he put up huge numbers, but the California native also led the Crimson Tide to a dominating win over what had been the consensus number one team all season. Young destroyed the usually stout Bulldogs defense to the tune of three touchdowns and 421 yards on 26-of-44 passing. He finishes the season with 43 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Young looks to be the first Alabama quarterback to win the award after A.J. McCarron (2013), Tua Tagovailoa (2018), and Mac Jones (2020) were finalists.
2. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Pickett’s new name is now Kenny “The Sauceman” Pickett as he played with too much sauce on Saturday night. But really, you can never have too much sauce, just like you can never have “Too Much Pod Tar“. The sauciest play of the day and perhaps even of the season was his fake slide. On a third-down scramble, he left Wake Forest defenders completely in his dust. After moving his legs in a sliding motion, he didn’t actually go down which fooled defenders. The senior quarterback out of Oakhurst, New Jersey already had picked up the first down but ran all the way to the end zone for 58 yards. Pickett also threw for two touchdowns and 253 yards while leading the Panthers to an ACC Championship. He finishes the season with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
KENNY PICKETT FAKED THE SLIDE AND RAN 58 YARDS FOR THE TD 😱 pic.twitter.com/EypNNJZYHE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 5, 2021
3. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
The only one of these guys who didn’t play yesterday, Walker deserves a spot as a Heisman finalist. He was nowhere to be found against Ohio State. But that was a bit of a fluke as the rest of the season was solid and the Tennessee native was also banged up in that game. In the game against the now second-ranked Michigan, Walker ran all over the Wolverines. That is a top performance to look at when considering him. He was named the Big Ten Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year.
4. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Jordan Davis was the defensive player to watch a majority of the season for the Heisman. But Hutchinson emerged as a big-time player in the spotlight. In two of the Wolverines’ biggest games against Ohio State and Penn State, the senior out of Plymouth, Michigan had three sacks. He finished the season with 55 total tackles, including 15 for loss, and 13.5 sacks. The senior has already gotten recognition, including being named the Woodson-Nagurski Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. The defensive end was also a consensus first-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and media. Against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, Hutchinson blasted through the offensive line and wreaked havoc in the 42-3 win.
First Four Out: Matt Corral, C.J. Stroud, Desmond Ridder, Jordan Davis
Follow Alex Kielar on Twitter @AlexKielar
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images