Dienhart: Here's my 2016 Heisman Trophy ballot
The Heisman Trophy winner has been announced, and the winner is Louisville dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson. And, here’s a look at my ballot, as I have been a voter since 2001.
1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. I looked around long and hard for other worthy candidates. I really did. But, none could match the resume of Jackson. The guy is the new standard by which all dual-threat quarterbacks are now measured. No player in America is more dangerous. That game at Syracuse is the prefect embodiment of what Jackson can do: 411 yards passing, 199 yards rushing, five TDs accounted for in a 62-28 win. The sophomore is No. 2 in the nation in total offense, averaging 410.7 yards per game, and became the first player in FBS history with 3,300 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in a season.
2. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson. If the Heisman was a career award, Watson would be the man. His 2016 numbers are good, but not as impressive as Lamar Jackson’s. The big difference: Jackson has 1,538 yards rushing; Watson has 529. Watson has led the Tigers to back-to-back playoff appearances, including a trip to the national championship game last season. He’s a special talent … and a great leader.
3. Jake Browning, QB, Washington. The fulcrum of a program that is back to elite status, Browning is the next great signal-caller from a school that has been a QB factory. He enters the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl playoff game vs. Alabama ranked No. 4 in pass efficiency, No. 2 in passing TDs and No. 7 in yards per attempt. And Browning is one of just three Pac-12 quarterbacks ever to throw 40 or more touchdown passes in a season (Browning has 42; Jared Goff (Cal, 2015) had 43 and Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) threw 42).
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