Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy victor Lamar Jackson and Stanford running back Bryce Love were named finalists for the 2017 Heisman on Monday night. He is the fifth player in history to win the award and return as a finalist the next year, joining Oklahoma's James White, USC's Matt Leinart, Florida's Tim Tebow and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel.
Barkley told The Collegian before the announcement of the finalists that it would be a dream to win the award, but he said if he did not get invited to NY, he wasn't "going to be down or sad about it".
Jackson won the award in his sophomore season a year ago, becoming the first player in U of L history to do so. Stanford's only AP player of the year was Christian McCaffrey in 2015, one of five players to be AP player of the year but not win the Heisman.
The Oklahoma quarterback - and Heisman Trophy finalist - gave mad props to the Georgia faithful who lit up his cell phone after someone leaked his number Sunday night.
Mayfield is the only finalist to lead his team to the 2017 College Football Playoff. For comparison, Jackson has enhanced his completion percentage to 60.4 percent (from 56.2 percent last season) and increased his passing average to 290.8 yards per game (from 272.5 yards per game last season).
"I'm honored to be chosen as a finalist with these two outstanding players", Jackson said in a statement.
Griffin won back-to-back Heisman trophies for Ohio State in 1974 and '75.
Love finished the regular season second in the country with 1,973 rushing yards and averaged 8.3 yards per carry despite dealing with an ankle injury that caused him to miss one game and limited him in several others. He also scored 17 touchdowns.
Many teammates took to Twitter to express their discontent, including junior safety Parker Baldwin and senior running back Tyler Wormhoudt. He was considered the favorite heading into the final month of the season, but the Nittany Lions lost twice, and his production fell off until a late surge. Mayfield led the Sooners to a 12-1 record and a conference championship.