Sports

Stanford's Love is ready for his Heisman Trophy close up

 
Love was named one of three Heisman Trophy finalists Heisman Trophy Trust on Monday and will be joined in New York by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Heisman winner will be announced Saturday evening on ESPN. Photo by Bob Drebin/isiphotos.com.

Stanford junior running back Bryce Love has spent time in New York City before, not that he remembers any of it. "I think I was 3 or 4," Love said Monday at a press conference. "It's been a while."

Love was named one of three Heisman Trophy finalists Heisman Trophy Trust on Monday and will be joined in New York by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Heisman winner will be announced Saturday evening on ESPN.


Bryce Love/Stanford Athletics
Love becomes Stanford's fifth Heisman finalist in the past nine years and the third running back, joining Christian McCaffrey and Toby Gerhart. Quarterback Andrew Luck was a two-time finalist.

"I'm honored and thankful for the opportunity to attend," Love said. "The hard work, the long days, all my teammates ... It puts those things into perspective. I'm proud to represent the team, the University and the staff."

He's the 10th overall finalist from Stanford. Jim Plunkett is Stanford's only Heisman Trophy winner (1970).

"I'm excited about this opportunity for him," Cardinal coach David Shaw said. "It's not just about winning the award but the recognition across the country of what he's accomplished."

Love leads all Power 5 running backs in rushing yards, rushing yards per game, yards per carry and runs of 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards. His 12 runs of 50 or more yards this year is an FBS record, and his 11 100-yard rushing performances leads the nation and tied a school record.

"All those and a 300-yard rushing game," Shaw said. "That's unheard of. He's a special football player and deserves a lot of the credit. I know the guys around helped him and he'll he the first to say it."

In the Pac-12 Championship Game, Love surpassed Gerhart, a 2009 Heisman finalist, and moved into second place on the school's single-season rushing list with 1,973 yards this season. With a bowl game remaining, he needs 47 yards to break the school record set by McCaffrey in 2015.

"It's exciting for the program that in the last nine years, five times Stanford has been in the discussion about the best player in America. I'm excited for Bryce to be in New York and take part in the festivities. Being in the discussion is truly special."

Love hasn't thought about what he'd like to do while he's in New York.

"Everything will be cool," he said. "Just seeing a big city like that and comparing to here and home."

Love, who hopes his ankle is 100 percent, and the Cardinal (9-4) won the Pac-12 North Division and will face TCU (10-3) in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Antonio, Texas. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. and ESPN will broadcast the game nationally.

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