USA Today Sports
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Auburn's Tre Mason, Alabama's AJ McCarron, Boston College's Andre Williams, Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch and 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M are the finalists for the 2013 Heisman trophy, the Heisman Trust announced Monday.
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Former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman winner, announced the finalists in alphabetical order.
Winston has passed for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns for No. 1 Florida State, both FBS records for a freshman. He could become the second consecutive redshirt freshman to win the award after Manziel.
In a year when many early candidates - Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Baylor's Bryce Petty - were undermined by a single poor game, Mason emerged at the last possible opportunity. Mason gained 304 yards and scored four touchdowns in leading No. 2 Auburn to the SEC Championship and a BCS National Championship Game berth.
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron (10) celebrates after a 99 yard touchdown by wide receiver Amari Cooper (not pictured) against the Auburn Tigers during the fourth quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium.
(Photo: John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports)
The fact that the finalist list numbers six players is an indication of the wide open nature of the Heisman race this season.
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McCarron has won nearly as many national championships (2) as he has lost games (3) as Alabama's starting quarterback. His final college game will come Jan. 2 in the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma.
Lynch, like McCarron, had a strong candidacy tainted by a single loss. Lynch's 1,881 rushing yards were among the nation's leaders, and he isn't even a running back. He also passed for 2,676 yards and accounted for 45 touchdowns - 23 passing, 22 rushing.