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Only 3 Heisman Trophy finalists announced for 2015, despite a loaded field

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You can make a really strong case for any of these players to win, including several who aren't finalists.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Heisman Trophy ballots are in, the finalists have been determined. The Heisman Trust announced the three who will head to New York for the ceremony at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

Alabama running back Derrick Henry has been the favorite, according to Vegas, with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford all-purpose player Christian McCaffrey hot on his heels in conference championship week. Previous favorites Leonard Fournette from LSU and Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State fell off somewhat over the second half of the season, but remained in the race.

After Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, and Cam Newton all looked like the clear winners heading in over the last few years, it's not quite so settled this year.

Here's a quick look at each of the finalists.

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

The odds-on favorite for several weeks, "El Tractorcito" broke Herschel Walker's SEC rushing record this year, finishing with 1,986 yards and a nation-leading 23 rushing touchdowns. In the nine games in which he got at least 20 carries, he never had fewer than 127 yards, including 210 yards against LSU and 189 in the SEC Championship. The stretch of 200-yard games — four since mid-October — ultimately sent him to the top spot.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford


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The son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders' three-decade-old record for all-purpose yards in a season, and did it in fewer touches. He saved his best performance for last, finishing with 207 rushing yards, 105 receiving yards and 461 all-purpose yards against USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game. That's the fifth-most ever in a game. His 3,496 all-purpose yards are 1,000 more than anyone else has this season.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

The quarterback of the Playoff's No. 1 seed, Watson shook off a 2014 injury to lead Clemson to an undefeated season in 2015. He's a true dual-threat quarterback, passing for 3,512 yards and 30 touchdowns, ranking No. 3 in pass completion percentage, rushing for 887 yards and 11 touchdowns, and ranking No. 7 in combined quarterback yardage against Power 5 opponents.

And here are a few potential snubs, based on who was in the running late in the season.

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU

An injury ruined his chances of winning, but opposing coaches sang his praises all season long. He ranks No. 2 in combined passing/rushing yardage, No. 6 in yards per pass against FBS opponents, and No. 1 in adorable photos taken while acknowledging young fans of the other team during coin flips.

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

If the Heisman had gone out a month or so ago, Coleman would've surely been a finalist. He had 18 receiving touchdowns by Oct. 24, which is more than anybody else scored all year long. Among receivers with 70 or more catches, he's No. 1 in yards per, with 18.42 giving him 1,363 total. He can juke humans off the face of the planet, and now we'll never know if he would've showed up for the Heisman shirtless.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Despite missing time with injury throughout the year, Cook was Florida State's most important player en route to a 10-win season. Cook finished with 1,876 total yards, and his average of 7.86 yards per carry ranks sixth in the country, better than Henry, Elliott and Fournette. And against similar competition, Cook has been the best.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Elliott was the favorite heading into the season, and he rushed for at least 100 yards in every game, except for a 33-yard performance against Big Ten champion Michigan State. He publicly complained about his carries total against the Spartans, and that performance likely cost him a chance at the Heisman. However, he's still had a strong season and finished it off with a 214-yard performance against Michigan.

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Fournette looked like he would be a runaway Heisman winner after he dominated everyone he faced in the first half of the season, putting together a highlight reel in the process. He still leads the country with 158.27 yards per game, just ahead of Henry. However, a 31-yard performance in a blowout loss to Alabama probably ruined his Heisman hopes, and he didn't help himself by rushing for under 100 yards again the next week against Arkansas.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

In his first year as a starter with the Sooners, the former walk-on finished with the country's No. 2 passer rating, with 3,389 yards and 9.57 yards per attempt. Mayfield has helped the Playoff-bound offense soar under Lincoln Riley's air raid, and he's proven himself as a true dual threat quarterback, with 420 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. And don't forget his blocking ability!

Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy

Service academy players regularly won the Heisman 80 years ago, but Reynolds' inclusion is very cool in the modern era, given the obstacles he faced to get here. He broke the FBS' all-time rushing touchdowns record, and he's rushed for 1,093 yards and 19 touchdowns in Navy's triple option offense this season with one game still to go. Despite rarely passing, he still has 964 passing yards and six touchdowns to just one interception.