Kyler Murray Wins Heisman

via Reuters

For the second consecutive season, an Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy when Kyler Murray was announced as the winner Saturday night at the PlayStation Theater in New York City.

Murray beat out two other quarterbacks — Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins — for the award.

“This is something I’ve dreamed about for my whole life,” Murray said. “I feel like a lot of hard work has been put into this but this is for my teammates, my coaches and my family.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. This is crazy.”

Murray finished with 2,167 voting points, ahead of Tagovailoa (1,871) and third-place Haskins (783 points). He received 517 first-place votes compared to 299 for Tagovailoa and 46 for Haskins.

No school has had two different players win back-to-back Heisman Trophies since Army’s Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis took the awards in 1945-46. USC’s Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush won in 2004-05, but Bush’s 2005 trophy was forfeited in 2010, after the NCAA sanctioned USC heavily for improper benefits Bush had received.

Baker Mayfield won the award last season before being the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Murray wasn’t even the Sooners’ guaranteed starter until a couple weeks before the season began, beating out Austin Kendall late in camp to secure the job.

But he quickly became a Heisman contender thanks to both his arm — he averaged more than 311 yards though the air — and with his legs, averaging nearly 70 yards per game on the ground.

Murray choked back tears when thanking his head coach, Lincoln Riley.

“He’s born to coach,” Murray said. “I’m not here right now if it’s not for him. … I would not be here if it was not for him trusting me, believing in me and just allowing me to be me on and off the field.

Murray led the Sooners to their third College Football Playoff appearance in four seasons. No. 4 Oklahoma will face Tagovailoa and the No. 1 Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29.

Tagovailoa threw for 3,353 yards and 37 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He was long seen as the front runner, but he struggled in the SEC championship game against Georgia, and after leaving that game with an injury while Alabama trailed, Jalen Hurts led the Crimson Tide to a come-from-behind win.

Haskins made a strong closing case in the Big Ten championship game, throwing for 499 yards and five touchdowns with one interception in a win over Northwestern.

Murray’s win gives Oklahoma seven Heisman winners, tying the Sooners with Notre Dame and Ohio State for the most of any program.