FSU QB Jameis Winston named finalist for Heisman Trophy

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is among the six finalists for the Heisman Trophy.

Voting for the Heisman closed on Monday afternoon. Winston, a redshirt freshman, will be joined by quarterbacks A.J. McCarron of Alabama, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, along with running backs Tre Mason of Auburn and and Andre Williams of Boston College for the Heisman ceremony in New York later this week.

This is the first time in nearly two decades that there are more than five finalists. The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday night at about 8:45 p.m.

Winston, considered the front runner in a number of Heisman straw polls, has thrown for an ACC-best 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns. He has set a Florida State record for TD passes in a single season. Winston is eighth nationally in passing yards and second to only Fresno State senior Derek Carr in TD passes (48).

He has also helped Florida State set a school record with 689 points this season, and has been considered by some analysts to be a runaway winner after Lynch and McCarron suffered late-season losses.

But nothing is official until Saturday night, and the other five finalists have built strong resumes.

Manziel, the 2012 winner as a freshman, is looking to become the first back-to-back Heisman winner since Ohio State running back Archie Griffin in 1974 and ’75. The Texas A&M star has thrown for 3,732 yards and 33 TDs and run for 686 yards and eight TDs.

Lynch set the FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,815 while leading Northern Illinois to a 12-1 mark.

McCarron threw for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns for No. 4 Alabama, which was perfect until falling at Auburn on a last-second field-goal return on Nov. 30.

Mason has run for 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns, and he vaulted into the Heisman discussion after running for 305 yards and four TDs in Auburn’s win over Missouri in the SEC championship game on Saturday.

Williams was an unknown nationally until he began to close in on — and eventually surpass — the 2,000-yard mark. He leads the nation with 2,102 yards and also has 17 touchdowns, but he played on a Boston College team that went just 7-5.

Winston is aiming to become the Seminoles’ third Heisman Trophy winner. Charlie Ward (1993) and Chris Weinke (2000) are the program’s previous winners.