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Heisman Trophy 2016: Breaking Down The Voting

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Lamar Jackson won the 82nd Heisman Trophy on Saturday night. While it was a seemingly wide-open race, the Cardinals QB still had the sixth-biggest Heisman win ever.


Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson claimed the Heisman Trophy in New York City on Saturday night, winning college football’s most prestigious individual award for his outstanding play throughout the 2016 season.

Jackson, who passed for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns and recorded 1,538 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground, became the sixth player who was either a redshirt freshman or a sophomore to win the award.

The Cardinals signal-caller became the first Louisville player to win the prize after setting the ACC’s single-season mark for touchdown responsibility (51), and he averaged 410 total yards per game this fall. He also became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner in the award’s history.

His dominance early in the season was too much for his competition to overcome, especially after his Week 3 performance over then-No. 2 Florida State. Not even a blowout loss to Houston and a four-turnover effort against Kentucky could thwart his Heisman journey.

Even though Jackson dominated the voting, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson did fairly well. However, it was still the sixth-biggest Heisman win ever, per ESPN during the ceremony.

Ballots were e-mailed to 870 media personnel across the nation plus 58 Heisman winners and one fan ballot, for a total of 929 electors. Jackson had 2,144 points to capture the award over Watson (1,524 points) and Mayfield (361 points). The point total is computed by a system of three points for a first place vote, two for a second and one for a third.

Breaking down the results, 48 different players received votes in this year’s voting. In comparison, 35 different players received votes last year. The race was obviously more wide-open this season.

Jackson finished first in each of the six geographic regions, while Watson finished second in each region. Watson finished as the runner-up after recording 3,914 yards and 37 touchdowns (which led the ACC this season) and rushing for 529 yards and six more scores. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook finished third and fourth, respectively, while Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers came in fifth.

No one had a chance at beating Jackson except Watson, as they were the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 across the country.

Despite not making it to New York, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook received some votes in the South, while Texas’ D’Onta Foreman received some in the Southwest. Washington’s Jake Browning garnered some attention and could have been an invite, as there was a big drop in votes after No. 6.

It’s interesting to note that Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen received 17 first-place votes, which is more than Peppers received. A lot of college football observers believed that Allen should have been the defensive representative, though it should be praised that at least one defender was invited.

MORE: My Path To A Heisman Trophy Vote

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