USC QB Caleb Williams leads group of 4 Heisman Trophy finalists

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The 2022 Heisman Trophy finalists were revealed Monday night with four players still in the running for college football’s most prestigious award.

The finalists are all quarterbacks: Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, TCU’s Max Duggan, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and USC’s Caleb Williams. Those four are invited to New York City for Saturday’s Heisman Trophy ceremony where the winner will be revealed.

The 58 living Heisman winners and hundreds of media members vote for the award by selecting three players on their ballot. A first-place vote is worth three points, a second-place vote is worth two points and a third-place vote is worth one point. Votes were due Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Here is more about each of this year’s finalists, listed alphabetically:

Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia

Stetson Bennett helped Georgia win a national championship last year and has the Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff yet again. Bennett, the former walk-on, has been the unheralded leader of the Georgia offense all year long, expertly shepherding the offense of the undefeated SEC champions. Bennett has been extremely efficient all year long. He’s thrown for 3,425 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 68.1% of his attempts. He also has seven rushing scores on the year. As a result of those efforts, the 5-foot-11 underdog is headed to New York as a Heisman finalist.

Odds at BetMGM: +3000

Max Duggan, QB, TCU

TCU has had a tremendous season and Max Duggan has been a key cog in the Horned Frogs’ run to the College Football Playoff. Remarkably, Duggan wasn’t even the starting quarterback when the season began. But when Chandler Morris was injured in Week 1, Duggan stepped in and never looked back. Duggan was no stranger to the starting job. He’s started for most of his college career, but he’s never played better than he has this season. Duggan has thrown for 3,321 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 404 yards and six scores. He almost single-handedly willed his team into overtime of Saturday’s Big 12 championship, rushing for 95 yards on the game-tying drive. That gutsy performance ultimately helped Duggan finish among the Heisman finalists.

Odds at BetMGM: +2000

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Though Ohio State came up short against Michigan, the Buckeyes still made the College Football Playoff and C.J. Stroud is still a Heisman finalist. Stroud finished fourth in the voting last year and will return to NYC after another strong season. Stroud has thrown for 3,340 yards and 37 touchdowns, which is tied for the national lead. Stroud has five 300-yard performances and also leads the country in passer rating at 176.25.

Odds at BetMGM: +5000

Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Though USC lost in the Pac-12 title game and missed out on the College Football Playoff, that did not detract from Caleb Williams’ Heisman candidacy. Williams has had a remarkable season for the Trojans after moving over to USC from Oklahoma. Late in the year, Williams had excellent performances vs. UCLA and Notre Dame on huge stages and showed a ton of guts to play through Friday night’s game vs. Utah despite injuring his hamstring in the first half. Williams threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. It was his seventh outing with 300-plus yards on the year, putting him at 4,075 yards and 37 touchdowns through the air. He also has 372 yards and 10 touchdowns as a runner.

Odds at BetMGM: -2500

Who got snubbed?

Some of the most notable snubs are Michigan running back Blake Corum, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, Washington quarterback Michael Penix and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

Corum was the catalyst for Michigan's offense all year, putting up 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns before injuring his knee vs. Illinois on Nov. 19. Over the course of the season, Corum topped 100 yards in eight consecutive games, including a performance of 243 yards and two TDs in a win over Maryland.

Before going down with a knee injury in Week 11, Hooker was having a phenomenal season. Hooker helped Tennessee win its first eight games and vault to No. 1 in the season’s initial CFP rankings. Hooker threw for 3,135 yards and 27 touchdowns with only two interceptions while leading the nation in yards per attempt (9.5).

Maye, just a redshirt freshman, looked like a future first-round pick in his first season as UNC’s starter. Maye threw for 4,115 yards and 35 touchdowns while completing 67.2% of his attempts. He also led UNC in rushing with 653 yards and seven touchdowns while helping the Tar Heels win the ACC Coastal.

Penix, a transfer from Indiana, leads the nation in passing yards. The lefty, who announced Sunday he will return to UW next season, has thrown for 4,354 yards and 29 touchdowns for the 10-2 Huskies. Penix played an integral role in helping Washington execute a massive turnaround from a 4-8 record in 2021.

Young won the Heisman last year while leading Alabama to an SEC title. This year, the Crimson Tide came up short and finished No. 5 in the CFP rankings. Young, even though he missed time with a shoulder injury, threw for 3,007 yards and 27 touchdowns along with 195 yards and four touchdowns rushing.

The Heisman Trust decided last year that there would be exactly four finalists. The number of finalists used to vary, with a minimum of three. Whether or not more players would be invited to New York City "was determined by how close the fourth-place finisher’s point total is to that of the third place finisher’s, how close the fifth-place finisher’s is to that of the fourth-place finisher’s and so on."

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy last year but he is not among the four finalists for the award this season. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy last year but he is not among the four finalists for the award this season. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)