NORMAN Quarterback Kyler Murray, who leads the country in total offense, points responsible for, passing efficiency rating and yards per pass attempt, took a sizable step toward realizing a childhood dream when he was named a finalist for the 2018 Heisman Trophy on Monday evening.
Joining Murray on the list of finalists who will be in New York for this weekend’s Heisman Trophy festivities are Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The winner will be announced Saturday during a 7 p.m. CT ceremony at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square that will air live on ESPN.
Murray’s finalist selection marks OU’s 10th such honor since Heisman finalists were first named in 1982, most nationally. OU has also produced a nation-leading nine Heisman finalists since 2000, which is three more than the school with the next most during the span (Alabama has six).
Also, the Sooners are the only program to ever produce four Heisman finalists in a three-year span.
OU’s other Heisman finalists were linebacker Brian Bosworth (1986), quarterback Josh Heupel (2000), quarterback Jason White (2003 and 2004), running back Adrian Peterson (2004), quarterback Sam Bradford (2008), wide receiver Dede Westbrook (2016) and quarterback Baker Mayfield (2016 and ’17).
Murray, who is also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award, 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,
Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 12 of 13 games this
Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winners were running backs Billy Vessels in 1952, Steve Owens in 1969 and Billy Sims in 1978, and White in 2003, Bradford in 2008 and Mayfield last year. Only two schools (Notre Dame and Ohio State with seven each) have produced more Heisman Trophy winners than the Sooners. The next most is three (by six schools).
No school has ever produced back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners who were quarterbacks.
No. 4-ranked OU, which behind Murray leads the nation in points per game (49.5), yards per game (577.9) and yards per play (8.7; FBS record is 8.6), will make its 52nd bowl appearance when it takes on No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN.