College football was loaded with talented stars this year, and the best of the best will be honored on Saturday as the winner of the 2021 Heisman Trophy will be revealed. Four finalists will be in attendance for the award: Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett. One will win the 84th iteration of the iconic trophy.
The Heisman Trophy was first given out in 1935 to University of Chicago running back Jay Berwanger. It was called the DAC Trophy at the time as it was named after New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. When the club’s athletic director, John Heisman, died in 1936, the award became known as The Heisman Trophy.
It is the preeminent individual award in college football.
Saturday night, we will see another member inducted into college football’s most prestigious club. The 2021 Heisman Trophy ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN. It can also be streamed live on fuboTV (Try for free).
Let’s take a look at the four finalists for this year award along with their current odds to win via Caesar’s Sportsbook.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (-4000): Calling Young the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman is an understatement. After some shaky play through the middle of the season, Young had a pair of Heisman moments over the past two week that might just have won him the trophy. Against rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl, he led a shocking 97-yard touchdown drive to send the game to overtime, which Alabama ultimately won. One week later, Young exploded for 421 yards passing and three touchdowns against Georgia to earn the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. Young ranks in the top fiv enationally with both 4,322 yards passing and 43 touchdowns to just four interceptions. An Alabama quarterback will almost always enter the season as a legitimate Heisman contender, but Young has blown all expectations out of the water.
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan (+2000): Hutchinson is hoping to become the first defensive player since 1997 to win what has become almost exclusively an offensive award. Unlike his Michigan brethren — ’97 winner Charles Woodson — Hutchinson plays exclusively on the defensive side of the ball. The senior has developed into one of the nation’s most disruptive pass rushers and set a program record with 13.5 sacks with games left to play. But more important than raw performance, his three sacks against Ohio State helped hamstring the Buckeyes’ touted offense, leading the Wolverines to their first victory over their rival since 2011. Michigan also won the Big Ten for the first time since 2004 and earned a playoff berth. Hutchinson has been the face of Michigan’s resurgence under coach Jim Harbaugh.
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (+3000): Pickett ranks among the unlikeliest stories in college football as the fifth-year senior took a monumental leap to lead the Panthers to their first outright championship since joining a conference in 1991. Pickett threw for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns to set single-season and career marks in virtually every category, an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that he edged out Dan Marino for those marks. Pitt has not won 11 games since 1981 and had never cleared eight under head coach Pat Narduzzi. Now, Pickett can lead the program to its first 12-win campaign since Johnny Majors’ national championship squad in 1976. His sudden improvement in one offseason is virtually unprecedented in recent memory.
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (+3000): Stroud is the third straight Ohio State quarterback to become a Heisman finalist — joining Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields — as Ryan Day’s pass-happy offensive system generates video game numbers. Stroud completed 70.9% of his passes for 3,862 yards, 38 touchdowns and just five interceptions as the Buckeyes finished 10-2 and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl. Receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson each cleared the 1,000-yard mark, while Chris Olave is close with 936 yards receiving. Stroud has another year of eligibility in 2022, but will likely have to do it without at least Olave and Wilson.