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Heisman Watch: Joe Burrow remains ahead of the pack

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Schefter: Burrow's efficiency makes him a top draft prospect (1:29)

Adam Schefter breaks down the strengths that make Joe Burrow and Chase Young desirable NFL draft prospects. (1:29)

The coronation of Joe Burrow has begun. While the official Heisman ceremony isn't for another few days, Burrow's play this season has him entrenched in the top spot.

Throughout the season, ESPN.com writers will vote for their top Heisman candidates.

To get the final rankings, we use the following methodology: 10 voters, five votes each. Points system: five points for first-place votes, four points for second-place votes, three points for third-place votes, two points for fourth-place votes and one point for fifth-place votes.

Voters: Andrea Adelson, Edward Aschoff, Kyle Bonagura, Bill Connelly, Heather Dinich, David M. Hale, Chris Low, Ivan Maisel, Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach


1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Total points: 50 (first-place votes: 10)

Notable: The list of records broken and gaudy stats compiled continues to grow for Burrow, who leads the Tigers into the CFP semis fresh off a 37-10 walloping of Georgia in the SEC title game. He threw for 349 yards and four TDs, was the team's second-leading rusher as he continued his dominance.

Quotable: "In my opinion, he should win it," LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said of Burrow's Heisman Trophy candidacy. "In my opinion, he's going to win it. The best thing about Joe is he's a team player. All he wants to do is win this game. Individual awards are not high on his list. That's what makes him such a great team player."


2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Total points: 34

Notable: It was going to be tough for anyone to top Joe Burrow, but Fields tried. And against Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, he led the Buckeyes back from a second-half deficit to clinch the victory. Fields threw for three TDs and 299 yards, with no interceptions.

Quotable: "I think the whole team knew we didn't play to our potential in the first half," Fields said. "We got together and came out with confidence in the second half and just played our game."


T3. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Total points: 18

Notable: Young was part of an OSU defense that held Wisconsin scoreless in the second half of the Big Ten championship game and finished with six tackles and two QB hurries. He leads FBS in sacks despite missing two games due to suspension.

Quotable: "I feel like I'm the most dominant player in the country. ... What I put out this year is you know, I feel like the best that people may have seen in a while." -- Young


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2:09

What does Oklahoma need to do to beat LSU?

Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Joey Galloway and David Pollack discuss what Oklahoma needs to do to beat LSU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

T3. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

Total points: 18

Notable: While Hurts has seen his Heisman stock fall a bit since his blazing-hot start to the season, he's still putting up big numbers. In a Big 12 title game win over Baylor that ultimately propelled the Sooners to the CFP semis, Hurts threw for 287 yards and a touchdown.

Quotable: "It's not supposed to be easy," Hurts said of the close win.


5. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Total points: 13

Notable: After a slower start to the season than most expected, Lawrence has gotten back to his Heisman-esque ways. In an ACC championship game win over Virginia, he threw for four TDs and 302 yards as the Tigers solidified their No. 3 ranking.

Quotable: "I'm proud of the way we handled it. We came out with a fire." And while Lawrence acknowledged the difficulty of comparing last year's group to this one, "the way we're playing, I think we are better," he said.


6. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

Total points: 5

Notable: Dobbins is the third of Ohio State's three Heisman-worthy candidates, and he's no slouch himself. He's FBS' third-leading rusher, and against Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, he ran for 172 yards and a touchdown.

Quotable: "I think he's one of the top three running backs in this year's class, and I'd be surprised if he gets past Round 2." -- ESPN's Todd McShay


T7. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Total points: 4

Notable: Taylor finishes the season as the second-leading rusher in FBS. In a Big Ten title game loss to Ohio State, he rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown and became the seventh player in FBS history to reach 6,000 yards rushing in his career.

Quotable: "Taylor has a lot of mileage on his legs, but he is a really competitive runner, and the team that drafts him will get a back with good vision and strong contact balance." -- Todd McShay


T7. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

Total points: 4

Notable: Hubbard's 1,936 rushing yards this season are tops in FBS. And outside of a blowout win in the penultimate game of the season, he rushed for more than 100 yards in every game this season, which included runs for 92, 65, 84, 75 and 53 yards.

Quotable: "The third-year sophomore is an impressive one-cut runner who is being used as a true workhorse back." -- Mel Kiper Jr.


T7. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Total points: 4

Notable: Etienne capped off an excellent regular season with a 114-yard performance (and a TD) against Virginia in the ACC title game. It was his eighth game this season where he's rushed for more than 100 yards.

Quotable: "The 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back has tons of explosion in his game. He has the ability to make a cut, make a defender miss and then just run away from the entire defense." -- Todd McShay