Mariota, Gordon, Cooper Named Heisman Finalists

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper were named the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy by the Heisman Trust on Monday night.

The winner of the award will be announced this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the award last season.

Here's everything you need to know on this year's finalists:

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Season Stats: 115 receptions, 1,658 yards, 14 TDs

Cooper is the rare player than can take over a game from the wide receiver position. He led the country in both receptions and receiving yards, while finishing second in receiving touchdowns. Cooper also passes the "eye test", as he was obviously the best player on the field in every game he played in, though his impact was limited by his position. He's the first wideout to be named a Heisman finalist since Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Season Stats: 309 carries, 2,226 rushing yards, 26 TDs, 7.6 YPC - 17 receptions, 151 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Gordon was undoubtedly the best running back in the country, putting up video game-esque numbers in almost every contest. He broke the 15-year-old NCAA record for rushing yards in a game with 408, though it was broken the next week. Gordon led the country in rushing yards (by a 300-yard margin) and touchdowns while playing on a team where he was the only offensive weapon.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Season Stats: 3,782 passing yards, 38 TDs, 2 INTs – 669 rushing yards, 14 TDs

Mariota is the consensus favorite to win the award after leading his Oregon team to a 12-1 record, a Pac-12 Championship, and a berth in the College Football Playoff. He ranks first in the country in total touchdowns (52) and QB rating (186.3), and has thrown the least amount of interceptions of any player who threw at least 100 passes this season (he threw 372 times this year). Mariota has been the model of efficiency and productivity for the past three seasons, and he had one of the most efficient seasons of any quarterback in college football history.

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