Five Heisman finalists invited to New York

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in college football.

At the 77th annual Heisman Trophy presentation Saturday night in New York, RG III will be joined by fellow quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, Alabama running back Trent Richardson and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.

Notable names not making the list of finalists include USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Houston quarterback Case Keenum.

Griffin, who began his 2011 campaign with a thrilling opening week win over TCU, has thrown for 3,998 yards and 38 touchdowns in his junior season, helping the Bears land a berth in the Alamo Bowl against Washington.

Luck, considered the favorite for the award coming into the year, has passed for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns in his senior season, and he will face an opportunistic Oklahoma State defense in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ball, continuing the long line of successful Badgers running backs, has rushed for 1,759 yards and 32 touchdowns in his junior season, leading Wisconsin to the Big Ten championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl against Oregon.

Richardson, a junior, has run for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns in leading the Crimson Tide to a berth in the BCS title game.

And Mathieu has had a scintillating sophomore campaign despite missing a game due to suspension, recording two interceptions and 71 tackles en route to winning SEC defensive player of the year honors for unbeaten LSU. He also averaged 16.2 yards per punt return and had two touchdowns.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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