The Ohio State Buckeyes might not play their next game until December 28, in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Clemson, but they are still making plenty of headlines. Monday night, the Heisman Trust announced that Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young are two of four finalists for the 2019 Heisman Trophy, joining Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts and LSU gunslinger Joe Burrow.
Congratulations to the 2019 Heisman Finalists! pic.twitter.com/X59a6OpbyF
— The Heisman Trophy (@HeismanTrophy) December 9, 2019
Leading one of the most explosive offenses in the country, Fields has been incredible so far this season, to say the least. He’s not only ahead of schedule, but it would be hard to find someone that believed he would be this good, both with his arm and his ability to run the ball. The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, the quarterback has thrown for 2,953 yards and 40 touchdowns while completing 208-of-308 pass attempts and throwing just one interception.1 Fields has also added 471 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground as well. He’s been the legitimate dual-threat quarterback that has allowed this offense to thrive. Following in Dwayne Haskins’ footsteps, Fields will be the second straight Ohio State quarterback to represent the Buckeyes in New York.2
The Big Defensive Player of the Year, Young recorded 16.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 44 tackles so far this season even after missing two games due to a suspension. The defensive end has also forced six fumbles. A player that many consider the most dominant player in college football, Young is the first defensive player to be a Heisman finalist since Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was invited to New York in 2012. He’s the first defensive lineman since Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh made the trip in 2009.
It will mark the first time ever that the Buckeyes will have two representatives at the ceremony and the first time since 2016 that a school has had multiple players as finalists.3 This also marks the first time since 1973 that Ohio State has had two players even finish in the top-five of the Heisman Trophy voting.4 For another first-time thing here: The Buckeyes are the first program to have both an offensive player *and* defensive player invited.
Ohio State is the first school to have two Heisman Trophy finalists since Oklahoma in 2016. It's the seventh time a school has had two finalists since the Heisman Trust began inviting multiple finalists to the ceremony in 1982. pic.twitter.com/PlYmppmfzA
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) December 9, 2019
In this new era of college football, all three quarterbacks that are invited to New York have transferred from one school to another prior to this season. Former Buckeye and current LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is considered the favorite and is expected to easily win the award, but the fact that Ohio State will be represented by two players and one former Buckeye is quite an accomplishment.
The Heisman Trophy ceremony is Saturday night, with festivities starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.