The Heisman Trophy finalists have been announced and only three players will be invited to New York City: Collin Klein of the Kansas State Wildcats, Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies and Manti Te’o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But more noteworthy than the names that did get invited were the ones who were snubbed; including the most egregious oversight, Marqise Lee of the USC Trojans.
Lee has been one of the most dominant wide receivers in the country this season, and could go down as one of the great college wide receivers in history. He broke records, dominated defenses and was an unstoppable force for the Trojans’ offense all season long.
His 112 receptions were the most of any receiver in the country. His 1,680 yards receiving were second most, behind only Terrance Williams of the Baylor Bears. He caught 14 touchdown passes, and was kept out of the end zone in just three games all season long. He also averaged nearly 30 yards per kick off return, including a 100-yard return for a score.
Even when teams knew he was getting the ball, Lee was able to go up and get it anyways. He caught 10 passes or more in seven games, including a record-breaking 16-catch, 345-yard performance against the Arizona Wildcats. He averaged over 20 yards per catch as he dismantled the Wildcats’ secondary all day long.
Other groups have recognized Lee’s incredible efforts. He was named the Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year and was the only sophomore to be unanimously voted to to the Pac 12 first team this season. He’s been named as a Walter Camp Award finalist, which honors the nation’s top college football player, as voted by FBS head coaches and sports information directors. On top of that, he’s the hands-down favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award.
Unbelievable stats, unquestioned dominance and unstoppable talent…but no Heisman invitation for Marqise Lee. That will be one of the biggest mistakes of any postseason award this year.