Who wins coveted honor for college football’s best player?

Picking a quarterback to lift the Heisman Trophy is always a safe bet: 17 have won the award since 2000. And choosing a player from Alabama is also smart: three have done so since 2009.

Every indication heading into Saturday night’s ceremony is that Alabama sophomore Bryce Young will be the latest quarterback and the latest star from the Crimson Tide to take home the Heisman.

After a strong close to the regular season, Young distanced himself from the competition and took hold of an unpredictable and largely uneventful Heisman race that seemed open to as many as five or six contenders deep into November.

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Bryce Young would be Alabama’s second consecutive Heisman Trophy winner.

The list of finalists includes three quarterbacks and one outlier: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson is the second defender to be voted a Heisman finalist in three years, following Ohio State defensive end Chase Young in 2019.

Michigan cornerback and returner Charles Woodson is the only primary defender to win the Heisman. In 2016, Michigan safety Jabril Peppers was a finalist after also playing smaller roles on offense and special teams.

The Heisman comes down to these four standouts:

Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Hutchinson has set the school’s single-season record for sacks with 14, including three to go with more than a dozen quarterback pressures in a legendary performance that paced the Wolverines past rival Ohio State late last month. That game gave him the boost his candidacy needed to vault ahead of another two defenders under consideration (Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis and Alabama linebacker Will Anderson).

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) rushes…

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