Record-breaking Badgers running back Melvin Gordon named a Heisman Trophy finalist

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NEW YORK (AP) — Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper and record-breaking Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.

Mariota is considered the clear the front-runner to win the 80th Heisman on Saturday night in New York. He would become the first Oregon player to earn college football’s most famous player of the year trophy.

Mariota and the second-seeded Ducks will face Florida State and last year’s Heisman winner Jameis Winston at the Rose Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1.

Cooper helped Alabama earn the top seed in the playoff. The Crimson Tide plays Ohio State in New Orleans.

The deadline for voting was Monday afternoon. Finalists are determined by percentage of votes received from 929 media members and former winners.