NORMAN — Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been named The Associated Press college football Player of the Year, the AP announced Thursday.
Murray is the second straight OU quarterback and fifth Sooner overall to win the award since it was established in 1998. He received 39 first-place votes and a total of 145 points, topping finalists Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (117 points) and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State (55 points) in voting among 56 AP college football poll voters who submitted player of the year ballots.
Murray joins former Sooners Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008) and Baker Mayfield (2017) as previous winners from Oklahoma. No other school has had more than two players win AP Player of the Year.
“It’s humbling and an honor to be named AP Player of the Year — to be mentioned in the same realm as a lot of great players, a lot of hall of famers,” said Murray, who is currently in Atlanta for the Home Depot College Football Awards show which airs Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN. “It’s a special deal for me and hopefully I can continue to make my family and teammates proud. It’s been a long journey with a lot of waiting, but I think it’s all been worth it. All the hard work with my teammates has really paid off.”
“It’s been a long journey with a lot of waiting, but I think it’s all been worth it.”
– Kyler Murray
It was also announced Thursday that Murray is a finalist for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. He is already a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award. The winner of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award will be announced at an award banquet in Tyler, Texas on Jan. 9, 2019.
Murray leads the nation in total yards (school-record 4,945), points responsible for (306), passing efficiency rating (205.7; FBS record is 198.9), yards per pass attempt (11.9; FBS record is 11.1) and yards per completion (16.8; tied). He also ranks second in completion percentage (.709; first among Power Five players).
The Allen, Texas, product has completed 241 of 340 passes this year for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He has also rushed for 892 yards and another 11 scores. He needs 108 rushing yards to become just the second player in FBS history to throw for at least 4,000 and run for at least 1,000 in a season (Clemson’s DeShaun Watson did it in 2015 with 4,109 passing and 1,105 rushing in 15 games).
Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 12 of 13 games this season, and has thrown at least three TD passes in 10 contests. He had his school- and Big 12-record streak of eight games with at least three TD passes snapped in a win against Oklahoma State on Nov. 10.