Michigan football star Aidan Hutchinson named Heisman Trophy finalist

Hutchinson is Michigan’s first Heisman finalist since Jabrill Peppers in 2016

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) scrambles away from Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (Tony Ding, The Associated Press 2021)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan football’s star edge rusher, Aidan Hutchinson, has been named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

The senior picked up his 14th sack of the season Saturday in the Big Ten championship game against Iowa. During the trophy ceremony and celebration, Hutchinson’s teammates started a “Hutch for Heisman” chant that rang out through Lucas Oil Stadium.

After Monday’s announcement, there’s still a chance they get their wish.

READ: Michigan faces daunting playoff matchup vs. Georgia, but don’t count this team out

Hutchinson returned to Michigan for his senior season after an ankle injury in 2020. He’s made 58 tackles, forced two fumbles and defended three passes in addition to his incredible pass rushing stats.

He’s the highest-graded defensive player in college football, according to Pro Football Focus, with the most quarterback pressures of any Power Five player.

Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates on the podium after being named the MVP of the Big Ten Championship game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (2021 Getty Images)

In Michigan’s biggest game against Ohio State, Hutchinson racked up three sacks and 15 pressures, helping to hold fellow Heisman candidate C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes to just 27 points. Ohio State hadn’t allowed 13 pressures to an entire team in a game before playing Michigan, according to PFF.

The other finalists for this year are Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Hutchinson, who went to high school at Divine Child in Dearborn, has been the best player on a Michigan team that went 12-1 this season. He led the Wolverines to a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff appearance.

He’s expected to be one of the first players selected in the 2022 NFL draft, and could go as high as No. 1 overall, according to draft experts.

Michigan’s last Heisman Trophy finalist was also a defensive star: Jabrill Peppers in 2016. Unlike Peppers, Hutchinson doesn’t get the ball on offense or special teams, which demonstrates what a tremendous impact he has on the defensive side.

Michigan has three Heisman Trophy winners in its history: Tom Harmon in 1940, Desmond Howard in 1991 and Charles Woodson in 1997.

Woodson is the only primarily defensive player to win the award in its history, which dates back to 1935.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.