Heisman finalists stats comparison: Breaking down Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. and Marvin Harrison Jr.

The 2023 Heisman Trophy race figures to be one of the closest in recent years. Only one player — Michael Penix Jr. — is headed to the College Football Playoff. Facing three quarterbacks is one wide receiver.

The Heisman Trophy is not just a stats-based award. It is “awarded to the outstanding college football player … whose performance epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.”

Often, it comes down to four quarterbacks. And typically, all the quarterbacks have had extensive time to play, having been in conference championships.

This year, Penix and Bo Nix faced each other in the Pac-12 Championship. Nix had more touchdowns (three to one) while Penix had more passing yards (319 to 239). Overall on the year, Nix had the more impressive numbers, but Penix beat Nix in both head-to-head contests and led his team to an undefeated season and College Football Playoff appearance.

BENDER: The case for and against each Heisman Trophy finalists

No one had more total yards than Daniels in 2023, racking up 4,946 yards (3,812 passing and 1,134 rushing) and he had more total touchdowns than any player in the nation. Daniels joined former Heisman Trophy winners Joe Burrow, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Bryce Young as the only five players in SEC history to rack up at least 50 touchdowns in a season.

Then there’s Marvin Harrison Jr. The Ohio State wide receiver did not lead the nation in any stats, ranking ninth in receiving yards, 36th in receptions and tied for second in receiving touchdowns. But he was often the Buckeyes’ only reliable offensive weapon, and dominated defenses despite Ohio State missing several other key receivers like Emeka Egbuka and Cade Stover.

How do the Heisman Trophy finalists compare in the stats columns? Here’s a look at the numbers of the four finalists.

Heisman finalists stats comparison 2023

Jayden Daniels stats

Getty Images

Passing

Games Completions Attempts Pct. Yards TDs INTs
12 236 327 72.2% 3,812 40 4

Rushing

Games Rushes Yards YPC TDs
12 135 1,134 8.4 10

Bo Nix stats

Bo Nix

(Getty Images)

Passing

Games Completions Attempts Pct. Yards TDs INTs
13 336 435 77.2% 4,145 40 3

Rushing

Games Rushes Yards YPC TDs
13 53 228 4.3 6

Michael Penix Jr. stats

Getty Images

Passing

Games Completions Attempts Pct. Yards TDs INTs
13 307 466 65.9% 4,218 33 9

Rushing

Games Rushes Yards YPC TDs
13 29 -18 -0.6 3

Marvin Harrison Jr. stats

Marvin Harrison Jr.

(Getty Images)

Receiving

Games Catches Yards YPC TDs
12 67 1,211 18.1 14

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