ABOVE: Ohio State University’s C.J. Stroud on being named a Heisman Trophy finalist.
NEW YORK CITY (AP) — Alabama’s sophomore quarterback Bryce Young has been named the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, beating out Ohio State University’s freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud, who finished fourth in the voting.
In addition to Stroud, Young beat out Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Young received 2,311 points in the Heisman voting, picking up 684 first-place votes. Stroud picked up 399 total points, receiving 12 first-place votes.
Hutchinson finished second with 954 total points, followed by Pickett with 631.
Young has passed for 4,322 yards and 43 touchdowns, leading No 1 Alabama to a Southeastern Conference title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The defending champion Crimson Tide will play No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 in the Cotton Bowl.
As good as Young has been in his first season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, following Heisman finalists Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa, an argument could be made he is not even the clear best player on his own team.
Will Anderson Jr. appeared to be the Tide’s top Heisman contender until Young went off against Georgia. The sophomore outside linebacker leads the nation in tackles for loss with 31.5 and sacks with 15.5, but he didn’t get an invitation to New York.
Anderson finished fifth in Heisman voting, picking up 325 points, putting two defensive players in the top five for the first time since 1962.
Stroud completed 71% of his passes for 3,862 yards, 38 touchdowns, and five interceptions as the seventh-ranked Buckeyes finished 10-2 in his first season as a starter.
He is the third straight Ohio State starting quarterback to be a Heisman finalist, joining Justin Fields (2019) and Dwayne Haskins (2018).
Hutchinson would have been the first defensive player to win the Heisman since Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997. Woodson was also Michigan’s last Heisman winner.
The last Michigan player to be a Heisman finalist also played defense, though not exclusively. Defensive back Jabrill Peppers played some offense and returned kicks when he finished fifth in the voting in 2016.
Hutchinson is one of the nation’s best pass rushers with 14 sacks. The senior led No. 2 Michigan to its first playoff appearance as Big Ten champions and helped end an eight-game losing streak to rival Ohio State.
Pickett returned to Pitt for a fifth season in 2021, taking advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility give-back for playing through the pandemic in 2020, and had a record-breaking year. Pickett passed for 4,319 yards with 42 touchdowns to eclipse school marks and led the 13th-ranked Panthers to their first Atlantic Coast Conference title.
The last Pitt player to be a Heisman finalist was receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith won last year. Young is Alabama’s fourth Heisman winner, all in the last 13 years under coach Nick Saban. Only four schools have won more in the 86-year history of the trophy: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Southern California each have won seven.
The other schools to have Heisman winners in consecutive years are Yale (1936-37), Army (1945-46), Southern California (2004-05) — though Reggie Bush’s 2005 victory was later vacated — and Oklahoma (2017-18).