ESPN reveals special update on 2020 Heisman Trophy presentation

Heisman Trophy. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Heisman Trophy. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

The 86th Heisman Trophy presentation will look a little different than years past.

The Heisman Trust announced a special update for the trophy presentation to reflect the bizarre nature of the 2020 college football season. This year, the trophy will be given to the best player in college football on Jan. 5, while the finalists will be announced on Dec. 24.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Heisman Ceremony will originate from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios for the first time. For the 27th straight year, Chris Fowler will host the one-hour telecast, joined by reporters Tom Rinaldi and Maria Taylor. ESPN analysts and former Heisman Trophy winners Desmond Howard (1991) and Tim Tebow (2007) will also contribute remotely,” the Heisman Trust said in a statement.

There is no sense of normalcy in the 2020 college football season

The entire presentation will be done remotely, rather than meeting at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City per usual. It’ll be a different look for one of the most storied award presentations in sports, but a necessary change given the pandemic. Any sort of heavily-attended indoor event, even if socially distanced, is not a good idea in this environment.

All voting must be complete by Dec. 21, so no postseason games will play a role in the process. Instead, the Heisman winner will be declared only by on-field performances during the college football regular season.

“So much has changed with college football this year, and a virtual Heisman Trophy Ceremony is different than any Heisman Ceremony we’ve done before,” Chris Fowler said on College Gameday this morning. “What hasn’t changed, however, is that we’re honoring the best player in college football and sharing in this life-changing moment.”

The likes of Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask, among others, are the favorites for the award as of this moment.

For now, the timing of the Heisman suggests that the College Football Playoff is still on schedule despite the striking number of games that have been postponed or canceled in the last few weeks in major conferences.

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