For the fifth year in a row I was fortunate enough to represent the Capital Region in New York as a voter for college football's Heisman Memorial Trophy. Below was the official ballot I cast for this year's award. Three things are important to remember 1) Official voters can only cast a ballot for three players.(3 points for first place, 2 points for second, 1 point for third place) 2) My voting process follows that of which is required by each Heisman voter. The award asks voters to cast their ballots to the most outstanding players in college football in the United States whose performances best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. 3) Every single college football player in the country is eligible for the award, regardless of the level of play (yes Jeff Undercuffler Juwan Green  Eli Mencer are all eligible as well.) . Below is my official ballot for 2019 and reasoning for my votes. Remember to tune Monday at 2:30pm as I will answer any questions about my vote on Levack and Goz. To listen Levack and Goz and all 104.5 The Team sports coverage, remember to download the FREE 104.5 The Team app.

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First Place Vote: LSU Quaterback Joe Burrow 

Throughout the season I keep track of my own personal Heisman trophy rankings of players from across the country. Burrow took my lead after his 293 yard three touchdown performance against the Florida Gators and never fell from the spot. Burrow's 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns set new single season SEC records. Plus his close to 79% completion percentage is pacing for a new single season FBS record. His numbers on a national level ranked second in passing yards while leading the country in passing touchdowns. Burrow's numbers were delivered against the best competition in the country including 339 yards on average through the air  and 12 total  touchdowns against Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. Burrow's success on the field led to team success as well including a 13-0 record, SEC title and the current number one spot in the country. Burrow was the most outstanding college football player in the country in 2019.

Second Place Vote: Oklahoma Quarterback Jalen Hurts

Some media members have argued that at least statistically in another season, Jalen Hurts would have won the trophy. That may be in fact true (his total yardage ranked higher than recent Heisman winners from his own school including Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray). Hurts' stats included 3,634 passing yards, 1,255 rushing yards and fifty total touchdowns. The issue with Hurts' candidacy was his performance against the best opponents in the Big 12. Hurts struggled in the first half in the team's first matchup against Baylor. Then in the Big 12 title game. against Baylor again, Hurts only accounted for one total touchdown. Even games against ranked Texas and Oklahoma State did not rank as impressive as Burrow's performances against top ranked SEC teams. The consistent statistical and team success was impressive but in Hurts' biggest games of the season, Joe Burrow was more outstanding.

Third Place Vote: Ohio State Quarterback Justin Fields 

40-1. Some college football fans would say that touchdown to interception ratio should be good enough to win the award for Justin Fields. The signal caller from Columbus no doubt was outstanding for the Buckeyes this season. In similar fashion to Hurts' season above Fields' numbers are tremendous but the performances in big games did not stack up to Burrow's.  Fields had two costly turnovers in the team's matchup against Penn State. His Buckeye team needed a comeback to win the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin and one of the reasons for that was Fields' play in the first half (a turnover that cost the Buckeyes points). The difference for me between Hurts and Fields came down to total rushing yards. Hurts again had close to 1,300. Fields had just 471. Fields was the best player for the undefeated Buckeyes this season. He earned my third place vote which leads to the discussion of....

No love for Chase Young or JK Dobbins? 

First for JK Dobbins. Dobbins had his opportunities to grab that third spot but when the Buckeyes needed the biggest plays of the season, they leaned on Fields rather than Dobbins. Dobbins'  carry total combined for 100 the past three games. His stats (like the other candidates above) are great! However watching Ohio State this season, the most outstanding player on the offense was Fields. Plus why was JK Dobbins' season better than Burrow's or Hurts'? I can not even make an argument for it. Dobbins production came when the Buckeyes tried to put away games in the second half. A very good player who would have gained my fourth place vote if I had one. Fields was just a bit better.

What about Chase Young their teammate? I compared Chase Young to a student in college who missed two weeks of the semester and gets a B+. If he had played the entire season and ended with twenty sacks he could have gained my vote. What if he made an impact play in the Penn State game? Could he have had six sacks against Rutgers? Plus he was double and triple teamed against Michigan and Wisconsin. Chase Young had a great season but I can't use "eye test" as a good enough qualifier when explaining by vote. Young missing two games was the reason I kept him off my ballot.

Do you agree or disagree with my ballot? Let me know below.


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