Daniels, Harrison Jr, Nix, Penix Jr named 2023 Heisman Finalists

NEW YORK (December 4, 2023) – LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. were named finalists for the 89th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy tonight (Dec. 4), announced live on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown.

The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner will be announced during the televised Heisman Trophy Ceremony Presented by Nissan that will air Saturday (Dec. 9) at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Top 10 finishers will be featured on The Top 10 Heisman Trophy Reveal Show Presented by Nissan on Friday (Dec. 8) at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

This is the fifth year in a row there have been four Heisman finalists. The Heisman Trophy Trust announced in 2021 it will officially invite four finalists annually to New York City for the Heisman Trophy weekend. The Heisman Trophy Trust began officially inviting finalists to New York City in 1982.

Daniels, Nix and Penix Jr. are all also finalists for the Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Davey O’Brien Awards while Harrison is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

Daniels, a senior quarterback from San Bernardino, Calif., has completed 236-of-327 passes for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns with just four interceptions while also rushing for 1,134 yards and another 10 scores. A five-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week this season, he leads the nation in total offense(4,946), TDs responsible for (50), passer rating (208.0, currently above the NCAA record), yards per pass attempt (11.7) and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,134) while his 40 TD passes are tied for first. He became the first player in FBS history to rush for 200 yards and pass for 350 yards in a game when he did it against Florida on Nov. 11, collecting 372 yards through the air and 234 on the ground. The 606 total yards broke the SEC record. Daniels, the 2023 Johnny Unitas Award winner, became the fifth player in SEC history to reach the 50 touchdown mark in TDs responsible for. He also joined Heisman winner Johnny Manziel as the only other player in SEC history to pass for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season and is the eighth player to do it overall.

Harrison Jr., a junior from Philadelphia, Penn., and a semifinalist for the Maxwell and Walter Camp Player of the Year Awards, finished the regular season with 67 receptions for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 18.1 yards per catch, the highest mark nationally among players with at least 60 receptions. His 14 touchdown receptions are tied for second in the nation while his 100.9 receiving yards per game are ninth. Harrison Jr. became the first Ohio State receiver with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in school history and had eight 100-yard receiving games this year. He had at least one touchdown catch in all but two games in 2023 and also rushed for two scores. Harrison Jr. was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week and the Maxwell Award Player of the Week after his 11-catch, 162-yard performance against No. 7 Penn State, which included the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. (Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

Nix, a senior from Pinson, Ala., completed  336-of-435 passes for 4,145 yards while throwing 40 touchdowns and just three interceptions, leading the Ducks to an 11-2 season and a trip to the Pac-12 title game. His completion percentage of 77.2 leads the country (and is just off the NCAA record of 77.4), his 40 TD passes co-lead the nation and his passing yards, passing yards per game (318.8) and passer rating (186.24) are second nationally. Nix’s 4,373 total yards are also second nationally, which includes 228 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. His 336 completions broke 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota’s Oregon program season record. He was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week four times this season. Nix threw at least two TD passes in each game in 2023 and passed for over 350 yards five times. He was also named the 2023 Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year thanks to his 3.91 GPA as a graduate student in communications.

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) rolls out of the pocket in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

Penix Jr., a senior from Tampa, Fla., completed 307-of-466 passes for a nation-leading 4,218 yards with 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions while he also rushed for three scores. He led Washington to a 13-0 season, a Pac-12 Championship and trip to the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed. Penix Jr. opened the season by throwing for over 400 yards in his first three games, including a career-high 473 at Michigan State (the third-highest total in Husky history), and finished the season with nine games of at least 300 yards passing. Penix Jr., who threw three or more TD passes six times, leads the country in passing yards per game (324.5), is tied for third with 33 touchdown passes, is third in total offense (4200) and is fifth in completions (307). He was eighth in the 2022 Heisman voting.

Daniels is LSU’s third Heisman finalist and first since winner Joe Burrow in 2019. Harrison Jr. is Ohio State’s 10th finalist — the third most ever — and the Buckeyes’ first since C.J. Stroud in 2022. Nix is Oregon’s fourth finalist and its first since winner Marcus Mariota in 2014. Penix Jr. is Washington’s second finalist and first since Steve Emtman in 1991.

If Daniels were to win, he would be LSU’s third Heisman winner and first since Burrow. If Harrison Jr. were to win, he would be Ohio State’s eighth winner and first since Troy Smith in 2006. If Nix were to win, it would be Oregon’s second winner, joining Mariota. Penix Jr. would be Washington’s first winner.

There have now been 175 players invited to New York as Heisman finalists since the practice was first instituted in 1982.

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) the 2022 Heisman Trophy Winner. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

The 2023 Heisman Trophy ballots went out to 928 electors, which includes 870 members of the media, 57 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote presented by Nissan, premier partner of the Heisman Trophy. All ballots were submitted electronically to the independent accountants at Deloitte.