The Statesman's Heisman voters liked quarterbacks the best, but split on Young, Stroud
How the the American-Statesman staffers with Heisman Trophy votes filled out their ballots — and why:
Voter since: 1979
My ballot: 1. Bryce Young; 2. Kenny Pickett; 3. Will Anderson Jr.
Big Game Bryce: With a quarterback field clustered by worthy candidates, including Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Pickett — my second choice after breaking Dan Marino’s Pitt record with 42 touchdown passes — I gave the first line on my ballot to Alabama sophomore Bryce Young for this reason: He kicked Georgia’s butt. Against a Bulldogs defense that had allowed seven touchdowns in 12 games, Young threw for 421 yards and three scores. He passed for 43 touchdowns behind a very average offensive line with only four interceptions, just one in his last seven games. Even in Alabama’s one loss to Texas A&M, he had 369 yards and three touchdowns. In short, he did it all on the field except the pose.
Voter since: 2004
My ballot: 1. Bryce Young; 2. Aidan Hutchinson; 3. C.J. Stroud
Offense trumped defense: I wanted to put a defensive player atop my ballot. I really did. Hutchinson and Alabama’s Will Anderson are both quality picks; both are deserving of being finalists. But watching Young’s performance against Georgia pushed him to the top of my ballot. When you can throw for 400-plus yards against the supposed No. 1 team in college football to win the SEC title, yes, you deserve to win the Heisman. Stroud was an impressive offensive machine this season for the Buckeyes. No wonder Quinn Ewers wanted to transfer.
Voter since: 2009
My ballot: 1. C.J. Stroud; 2. Bryce Young; 3. Kenneth Walker
C.J. was consistent: I finally settled on Stroud because of his body of work. The numbers (38 touchdowns and five interceptions) stood out along with great consistency. He threw multiple touchdowns in all but two games and more important, his quarterback rating of 182.2 was the second best in the country. Young probably has the national sentiment after his electric performance against Georgia. It's largely a quarterback's award now, but Walker's great season deserved notice (1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns) and I placed him ahead of Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett on my ballot.