Originally found on CBS Sports:
The 2023 Heisman Trophy finalists were announced on Monday night, and the field is loaded with college football’s most outstanding talents. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. will be headed to New York for the ceremony on Saturday night.
This is one of the most intriguing races we’ve had in recent memory, unlike last year when USC’s Caleb Williams ran away from the field. All of these players have wowed the college football world in a variety of different ways, including their high-caliber play, impact to their team’s overall success and pure value based on what the potential dropoff would be without them in the lineup.
Let’s take a closer look at their respective résumés:
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Daniels has put up video game numbers similar to those of 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who led his team to a national title. This year’s Tigers didn’t win so much as the SEC West, but Daniels has elevated himself and those around him with 3,812 yards passing, 11,34 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns. Daniels, the former starter at Arizona State, had 372 yards passing and 234 yards rushing in the 52-35 win over Florida on November 11. That made him the first player in FBS history to throw for at least 350 yards and rush for at least 200 yards in the same game.
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
Nix did all that he could to get the Ducks into the College Football Playoff, but fell just short in the Pac-12 Championship Game loss to Washington. However, that shouldn’t take away from what was a tremendous season. Nix threw for 4,145 yards, rushed for 228 yards, tossed 40 touchdowns and ran for six more for a team that went 11-2 and finished No. 8 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Nix, the former starter at Auburn, threw for more than 400 yards in back-to-back games in November and tossed 10 combined touchdowns in wins over USC and Arizona State.
Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington
The 6-foot-3, 213-pound senior led the Huskies to a perfect season, the Pac-12 title and berth in the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed. In a year when the Pac-12 posted parity and high-level QB play, Penix threw for 4,218 yards and 33 touchdowns for a Huskies team that burst onto the national scene out of a loaded conference. Penix, a former starter at Indiana, finished the regular season as the nation’s leading passer with 324.5 yards per game, an honor that he also earned last season when he averaged 357 yards per game through the air.
The Biletnikoff Award finalist caught 67 passes for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns for a Buckeyes team that entered rivalry weekend with an unblemished record prior to falling to Michigan. His 14 receiving touchdowns are tied for the second-most in the nation, and he did it while playing in one of the most loaded wide receiver rooms in the country. Harrison, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior will likely be one of the top wide receiver prospects leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft should he decide to forgo his remaining college eligibility.