2016 Heisman Trophy Finalists: 5 Players who should have been invited to NYC

The Heisman Trophy finalists were all deserving, but who else could have gotten an invite to New York City?

The official announcement for the Heisman Trophy finalists has been revealed. For the most part, the voters did a good job selecting the appropriate finalists, but like every year, there were a few deserving candidates who didn’t get an invite.

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson headlined the list of Heisman Trophy finalists. After all, he has been the clear frontrunner all season. Rival quarterback Deshaun Watson out of Clemson was also named a finalist, as was Michigan’s star athlete Jabrill Peppers and two Oklahoma Sooners in Dede Westbrook and Baker Mayfield. The fact that two players on the same team were selected as finalists shows what kind of year Oklahoma’s offense had.

All of these players put up terrific numbers this season for some fantastic teams. However, here are a handful of guys who should have at least gone to New York City after the seasons that they had, even if they weren’t going to win the award.

Nov 26, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive back Adoree Jackson (2) is pursued by Notre Dame Fighting Irish safety Jalen Elliott (21) on a 52-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter during a NCAA football game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5

Adoree Jackson

DB, USC

The USC Trojans had one of the best runs in the nation to end the regular season, and while it’s hard for a defensive-focused player to be a Heisman finalist, Adoree Jackson made an awfully strong argument late in the season.

Jackson did it all for the Trojans this season. Not only did he rack up four interceptions, 11 pass breakups and two fumbles recoveries, but he also scored four return touchdowns and added a 52-yard touchdown reception on offense.

USC released a Heisman hype video to try and convince the voters that he should be a finalist last week.

Michigan’s Peppers was selected as a Heisman finalist because of his incredible versatility and ability to play any position on the field. Jackson was a much similar player for the Trojans, and while he didn’t get selected for a trip to NYC, we felt that this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the USC star defensive back.

Nov 25, 2016; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning (3) throws a pass against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Huskies won 45-17. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

4

Jake Browning

QB, Washington

It was going to be hard for Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Browning to get an invite. After all, his season out on the West Coast has been overshadowed by the likes of Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. However, Browning at least deserves a nod after leading the Huskies to a 12-1 record and a Pac-12 Championship.

Browning was able to put up some video game numbers this season while helping the Huskies have the fourth-highest scoring offense in the FBS with 44.5 points per game. The quarterback has already thrown for 3,280 passing yards to go along with 46 total touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Unfortunately, because of his team playing on the West Coast, Browning and the Huskies didn’t get as much national coverage as a lot of other teams. It also doesn’t help that Jackson dropped 51 total TD’s and dazzled voters with his legs.

On the bright side, Browning is taking the Huskies into the College Football Playoff with a semifinal against the Alabama Crimson Tide. If he can pull off the upset to take Washington to the national championship, Browning won’t care that he’s not a Heisman finalist.

Oct 22, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) returns a fumble for a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

3

Jonathan Allen

DL, Alabama

The fact that one defensive player was a Heisman finalist is impressive enough, and while Adoree Jackson had a legitimate case, Jonathan Allen probably had the best Heisman resume of any defensive player in college football this season.

The Crimson Tide had the single best defense in college football this season, giving up just 11.8 points per game all year. Not only that, but they also have 14 non-offensive touchdowns on the year, far and away more than any other team in the nation.

A big reason for Alabama’s success on defense has been Allen on the defensive line. The senior has racked up 13 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 15 QB hurries and two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns.

Ndamukong Suh was the last defensive lineman to be nominated as a Heisman finalist back in 2009. It may take some time for another one to get a trip to New York City, especially if Allen couldn’t even get an invite.

At the same time, there were simply too many key playmakers on Alabama’s defense to single one out, but at least Allen will be coming home with the Bronco Nagurski Trophy for the best defensive player in college football.

Oct 29, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns running back D

2

D'Onta Foreman

RB, Texas

No running backs were invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony this year, and that’s a bit surprising. A running back has at least been a finalist every year since 2012, and Texas Longhorns star D’Onta Foreman had such a productive season that he should at least gotten an invite.

Foreman finished the season with an incredible 2,028 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He finished with the second-most rushing yards in a single season in Longhorns history, falling only behind the legendary Ricky Williams.

Probably the main reason that the Longhorns running back didn’t get an invite is the fact that Texas had a terrible season, going just 5-7 and even losing to Kansas. No bowl appearance definitely hurt Foreman’s Heisman resume.

Still, regardless of his team’s record, Foreman led the entire nation in rushing and was an unstoppable force at times this year. He’ll be heading for the NFL in April, so it would have at least been nice for him to end his college career with a trip to New York City.

Dec 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) rushes in the first half against the Ohio Bobcats at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1

Corey Davis

WR, Western Michigan

I get that Dede Westbrook put up some incredible numbers this season for Oklahoma, but the receiver who should have been invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony is Western Michigan’s Corey Davis.

The MAC simply doesn’t get any national love, but the Broncos were still able to go undefeated heading into their bowl game against Wisconsin. Wide receiver Corey Davis was unstoppable all year, racking up 1,427 yards (7th in FBS), 91 receptions (T-8th) and 18 touchdowns (1st).

Davis has had an incredible career with the Broncos, even breaking the FBS record for career receiving yards with 5,212. He was a constant threat to make a big play this season, averaging 15.7 yards per reception on a 13-0 team.

Every now and then, a Heisman finalist is selected because of his career achievements. The fact that Davis didn’t even get a hat tip is a crime to Davis, Western Michigan and the MAC as a whole.

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