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Heisman Trophy Finalists - Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper & and Melvin Gordon


Cooper, Gordon & Mariota Named 2014 Heisman Finalists
The 2014 Heisman Winner will be announced this Saturday on ESPN

NEW YORK, NY (December, 2014) - Another exciting Heisman race is coming to a close as voters from around the country have settled on the finalists for the 2014 edition of college football's most prestigious award.

Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel ('96) announced the finalists for the 80th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy are Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. The announcement of the finalists was made on ESPN/ESPN2's 6:00 PM telecast of SportsCenter.
The three finalists will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy announcement on December 13, which will broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST, presented by Nissan North America.

Frank Coyle is a longtime voter in the Heisman Trophy award and cast his ballot for Oregon's Marcus Mariota #1, Amari Cooper #2 and Melvin Gordon #3.

Photo – WR Amari Cooper - Alabama

Amari Cooperwould be the first wide receiver to win the award since Desmond Howard in 1991. The junior from Miami set the SEC single-season record with 113 catches this fall, 14 of them for touchdowns. That reception total, along with his 1,656 receiving yards, led the nation. The 6-1, 210-pound Cooper owns every major Alabama receiving record, including career receptions (218), season receptions (115), catches in one game (13), career receiving yards (3,391) and career touchdowns catches (29). He would be the second Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama (and second in six seasons) and the second coached by Nick Saban.

Melvin Gordon would be the third Wisconsin Badger to win the Heisman. The junior running back from Kenosha, Wisc., set a Big Ten record with a nation-leading 2,336 rushing yards. He also scored 29 touchdowns and averaged 7.56 yards per carry. He is the 17th player in FBS history to surpass the 2,000-yard rushing barrier and he did it faster than anyone previously, eclipsing the mark on his 241st carry of the season. His 408 rushing yards against Nebraska in mid-November broke the single-game rushing mark of 406 set by TCU's LaDainan Tomlinson in 1999 (Gordon's mark has since been broken). The 6-1, 213-pounder has 4,664 career yards, fourth on the all-time Wisconsin list.

Marcus Mariota would be the first Oregon Duck and first player born in Hawaii to win the Heisman Trophy. The junior quarterback from Honolulu passed for 3,773 yards and 38 touchdowns this season while throwing just two interceptions. He led the nation in passing efficiency with a mark of 186.10 and also rushed for 669 yards and 14 scores (with one touchdown reception). His 4,442 yards of total offense and 53 total touchdowns also topped the FBS rankings. For his career, Mariota has 10,115 passing yards with 101 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. His 12,251 yards of total offense is a school record.

The Heisman Memorial Trophy electorate, which determines the finalists and the winner, is comprised of 928 sports journalists and every living former Heisman winner. The public at large is granted one overall fan vote, thanks to Heisman's Premier Partner, Nissan North America. The electorate is tasked with selecting the outstanding college football player in the United States.

"We're pleased to welcome these three outstanding juniors to New York for the Heisman ceremony," said Rob Whalen, Executive Director of the Heisman Trophy Trust. "We look forward to celebrating their record-breaking seasons and naming one of them the winner of the 2014 Heisman Memorial Trophy."

Tickets are still available for the 80th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner on Monday, December 16 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The winner will be presented with his award at this event, where three former Heisman winners will also be recognized: John Huarte (Notre Dame, 1964) on the 50th Anniversary of his award, Andre Ware (Houston, 1989) on the 25th Anniversary of his award, and Matt Leinart (USC, 2004) on the 10th Anniversary of his award. The Trust will also recognize legendary baseball player and manager Joe Torre as the 2014 Heisman Humanitarian Award winner for his work helping and supporting victims of domestic violence and their families.

About the Heisman Trophy Trust
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these charitable endeavors is for the Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.