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2023 Heisman Trophy: Who is the Favorite to Take the Top NCAA Football Honor?

Last Updated: December 12, 2023
Sunday night’s ceremony will crown this year’s top performer in college football. We have everything you need to know about the awards ceremony and the four finalists for the coveted Heisman Trophy.

This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research.

The Heisman Trophy is one of the most cherished awards in American athletics.

For the modern era, the accolade is typically bestowed upon the nation’s best quarterback, but it is not intended as such; that would be the Davey O’Brien Award. Regardless, 2023 offers four finalists, three of which play the signal-caller position: Jayden Daniels of the Louisiana State TigersBo Nix of the Oregon Ducks and Michael Penix Jr. of the Washington Huskies.

Additionally, one very dynamic receiver will join the trio at the 30th Heisman Trophy Ceremony (89th overall award) — Ohio State Buckeyes wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. Talented as Harrison is, he is still a long shot to have his name called. Keep in mind, only one non-QB (DeVonta Smith in 2020) has earned the Heisman in the past seven years.

The quartet of finalists will embark on New York City’s Jazz At Lincoln Center for this year’s ceremony.

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2023 Heisman Trophy Ceremony

  • Date: Saturday, December 9th, 2023
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Television: ESPN
  • Venue: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room (New York, NY)

As has become tradition, the event will be emceed by ESPN’s Chris Fowler. From there, past Heisman winners Robert Griffin III (2011), Tim Tebow (2007), Desmond Howard (1991) and Andre Ware (1989) will contribute to the one-hour program.

With no more on-field action to consider, odds in this market are currently unavailable at FanDuel Sportsbook. Still, leading into conference championship weekend, Nix showed as a -180 favorite in Heisman betting. However, being upset by Penix and the Huskies in the Pac-12 title game definitely put a dent in Nix’s chances — that was also Oregon’s second loss of the season to UDub.

Does that mean the dual-threat Daniels of LSU slides into the top spot? He accounted for more touchdowns than any player on this list despite not participating in a conference championship game in 2023. When the market was pulled earlier this week, Daniels was a -1450 favorite.

Just a couple days away now, the upcoming Heisman ceremony will bring lifelong notoriety to whoever has their name called. Still, for these men, the journey is only beginning. As is common knowledge, the NFL is a different beast entirely.

For the record, only 10 Heisman winners have gone on to be enshrined in Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. As some of the greatest to ever take the gridiron, that exclusive list is as follows: Charles Woodson, Tim Brown, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Doak Walker, Paul Hornung, Roger Staubach and O.J. Simpson. Perhaps this year’s winner can eventually join that bunch.

2023 Heisman Trophy Finalists

At a glance, here are the abbreviated resumes of the 2023 Heisman Trophy finalists.

Bolding denotes FBS statistical leader

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

  • Senior
  • Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
  • 4,145 passing yards
  • 46 total touchdowns (40 passing)
  • 77.2% completion rate
  • 91.0 QBR

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

  • Senior
  • SEC Offensive Player of the Year
  • 3,812 passing yards
  • 1,134 rushing yards
  • 50 total touchdowns (40 passing)
  • 72.2% completion rate
  • 95.7 QBR

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

  • Senior
  • Pac-12 Champion
  • College Football Playoff qualifier
  • 4,218 passing yards
  • 36 total touchdowns (33 passing)
  • 65.9% completion rate
  • 83.4 QBR

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

  • Junior
  • First-team All-Big Ten
  • 67 receptions
  • 1,211 receiving yards
  • 15 total touchdowns (14 receiving)
  • 18.1 yards per catch

-GABRIEL SANTIAGO

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