In order to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, Aidan Hutchinson was likely going to need some help.
Though there weren’t any obvious winners near the end of the regular season, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud appeared to be battling for the prize. But then, in Week 13, Hutchinson upended the latter’s campaign, sacking him three times as Michigan football upset the rival Buckeyes, with the first win in the series in 10 years. However, Young helped lead his team to a comeback victory over his rival, the Auburn Tigers.
Still, pundits surmised that with a big game against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game, Hutchinson could earn the second-ever Heisman Trophy given to a defensive player.
However, the aforementioned Young had a big game in the SEC Championship Game, cementing his Heisman Trophy win on Saturday night.
But, how close was Hutchinson to winning the overall top prize given to the nation’s most important player? Ultimately, he ended up finishing second in the voting.
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Hutchinson received 78 first place votes, 273 second place votes, and 174 third place votes with 954 total points. By contrast, Bryce Young had 684 first place votes, and 2,311 total points. Kenny Pickett came in third while C.J. Stroud came in fourth.
Regardless of not winning the award, the fact that Hutchinson was a finalist and placed where he did is gigantic accomplishment — especially considering that the only other defensive player to win was Michigan’s own Charles Woodson.
Up next, Hutchinson can try to prove voters wrong about not putting him in the top spot if he can wreak havoc against Georgia in the College Football Playoff. Should he do that, he’ll have a chance to go toe-to-toe with winner Bryce Young, should Alabama beat Cincinnati in its own semi-final.
Hutchinson finished the regular season with 14 sacks, the most ever in a single-season by a Michigan football player, having broken his father’s record of 11 in the Ohio State game.
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