Luck, Griffin, Richardson lead Heisman finalists

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NEW YORK — Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck entered the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.

He will head to New York for the presentation of college football’s top player of the year award having relinquished front-runner status to another quarterback – one known as RG3.

Luck, along with Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Tyrann Mathieu and Montee Ball are the Heis­man finalists. The award will be presented Saturday in Manhattan.

Luck, is the only repeat finalist this season, while Griffin is the first Baylor player to get an invite to the ceremony. The school has never had a player finish better than fourth in the Heisman voting.

“I’m sure it will be a really close vote,” Griffin said in Waco, Texas, after watching the announcement with teammates and coaches.

Ball has scored 38 touchdowns for Wisconsin and needs one more to match Barry Sanders’ NCAA record.

Mathieu, the Louisiana State University defensive back nicknamed “Honey Badger,” has made numerous game-changing plays for the top-ranked Tigers.

The field was deep this season, and several deserving players didn’t make the cut, including Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, a finalist last season; South­ern California quarterback Matt Barkley; and Houston’s record-breaking passer, Case Keenum.

The prognosticators have Grif­fin as the most likely winner. Heismanpundit.com, which has successfully predicted the past four winners with a straw poll of 13 voters, had Griffin as its top vote-getter Monday. Luck was second and Richardson third.

2011 HEISMAN TROPHY FINALISTS

Andrew Luck

Stanford, QB

Note: He was runner-up to last year’s winner, Auburn’s Cam Newton.

Robert Griffin III

Baylor, QB

Note: He’s the first Baylor player to be a finalist.

Trent Richardson

Alabama, RB

Note: He’s the second Alabama running back to be a finalist in three years.

Tyrann Mathieu

LSU, DB

Note: The “Honey Badger” is the second defensive finalist in three years.

Montee Ball

Wisconsin, RB

Note: He’s one TD away from the NCAA record.


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