NEW YORK — Even before the Heisman Trophy is handed out Saturday night, it is tempting to look ahead to 2016 and what could be a doozy of a race for college football’s most famous bronze statue.

While Alabama’s Derrick Henry is likely to both win the Heisman and head to the NFL after the Crimson Tide’s playoff run, the other two finalists, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Stanford scat back Christian McCaffrey, are sophomores who will return.

Add Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and LSU’s Leonard Fournette and there is a strong chance five of the top eight Heisman vote-getters from this year will be back in 2016.

“It’s a monster class,” said Chris Huston, a Heisman historian and editor-in-chief of

Henry, Watson and McCaffrey arrived Friday in New York from Atlanta, where they attended the ESPN awards show at the College Football Hall of Fame. They were greeted in the Big Apple by a traffic jam that turned a 7-mile trip from LaGuardia Airport to the Times Square into a 2-hour journey. The delay cost them lunch at an Italian restaurant, but otherwise all was well.

“I’m just enjoying the moment and happy to be here,” Henry said.

Being a finalist is a once-in-lifetime event for most players, often the culmination of a great career. For Watson and McCaffrey, maybe this is just a test run.

“Of course, next year I want to be back. And if I happen to stay my senior year I want to be back then,” Watson said.

Only twice in the previous 10 seasons (2008 and ’10) have at least two of the top three finishers in the Heisman voting returned to school the next year. Only twice in the last 10 seasons (2012 and ’06) have five of the top eight returned the next season.

MISSOURI: Coach Barry Odom will make $2.35 million annually in a five-year contract approved by the Missouri System Board of Curators.

The contract includes $450,000 in base salary and $1.9 million for various appearances on radio and TV and other duties. It also provides numerous performances bonuses.

Odom, who replaced Gary Pinkel, would owe a buyout of $2.35 million if he accepted another college or NFL position on or before Feb. 28, 2019, with decreasing buyout terms in subsequent seasons.

OHIO STATE: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was hired as co-defensive coordinator of the Buckeyes.

Schiano has been out of coaching the past two seasons since being fired by Tampa Bay after a disappointing 11-21 record over two years.

He will replace Chris Ash, who left Ohio State to become head coach of Rutgers.

 Coach Urban Meyer suspended defensive lineman Adolphus Washington from the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame after he was cited by police this week for solicitation.

Washington is a senior who has four sacks and 49 tackles in 12 games this season.

TULANE: Georgia Southern’s Willie Fritz will succeed coach Curtis Johnson, who was fired Nov. 28 after his second straight 3-9 season.

Fritz, 55, has spent the past two seasons at Georgia Southern, posting 9-3 regular-season records each year.