USA TODAY - 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.
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.
The fact that the finalist list numbers six players is an indication of the wide open nature of the Heisman race this season.
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.
Williams is the first 2,000-yard rusher in FBS since 2008. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry and scored 17 touchdowns. Manziel followed his Heisman campaign with 3,732 yards passing, 686 yards rushing and 41 touchdowns.