(Photo by Michael Kinney)
By Michael Kinney
On the day that the nation officially found out quarterback Kyler Murray was one of three Heisman Trophy finalist, the Allen, Texas native treated it as a normal day at the office. He said he was getting a massage when he got the news Monday.
“I feel pretty normal, honestly,” Murray said. “Obviously a great honor to go to New York and represent as one of the finalists for the Heisman. I wouldn’t be here without my guys, my coaches, my family. Just thankful for all the work that’s been done. But for me, the job is not done obviously. Hopefully, two more games left and that’s really what my focus is on. It’s a great honor, and yes, it’s been a great day. I thought I found out last week. But today, I guess it’s official. It was a good day, for sure.”
Joining Murray as finalists are Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. The ceremony is set for Saturday night in New York City.
“Me and Dwayne (Haskins), we’re friends,” Murray said. “I really don’t know Tua (Tagovailoa). Obviously, hearing about Bama all the time, everybody knows they’ve had a great season. Other than knowing what Dwayne’s doing, I haven’t really got to sit down and watch many games they’ve played. But obviously, they’re doing something right.”
If Murray wins, he will be the seventh Sooner to take home the award and the second straight to win it while leading their team to the College Football Playoffs. Baker Mayfield won the 2017 Heisman.
Murray is the first FBS player in history to enter bowl season averaging at least 300 passing yards (311.8) and at least 60 rushing yards (68.6) per game. He also owns a 96.1 Total QBR, the highest by a player entering bowl play since 2004, according to the Sooners.
“I think he has a great chance to win. In my opinion, the best player in college football. For him to be named a finalist is pretty great for this university, good for him,” tackle Cody Ford said. “I think it just goes to show, we produce athletes at Oklahoma. I’ve never seen anyone like him. He does things out of the ordinary. He’s real humble about himself. He doesn’t tend to get too confident or too cocky. So he knows what he is doing.”
All three finalist have impressive resumes. Haskins is the single-season Big Ten passing leader with 4,580 yards (also led the nation). His 47 touchdown passes are the most by a Power Five quarterback since 2008.
Tagovailoa threw for 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season to go along with 190 rushing yards and five scores. He’s completed 67.7 percent of his passes and didn’t throw an interception until Alabama’s eighth game of the season.
Murray leads the nation with a record 205.7 passing efficiency rating, a record 11.9 yards per pass attempt and 16.8 yards per completion. His 4,945 yards of total offense is also a new school record. He accounted for 51 total touchdowns, which leads all three finalists.
“I really haven’t had a lot of time to reflect. It went by quick,” Murray said. “Obviously, it’s not over. For me, going into it, you know, a one and done type deal, possibly, it’s been everything I dreamed of and I put in the work for. The guys put in the work for. I’m thankful. It’s been fun, hasn’t been easy. To win the Big 12 Championship Saturday. Do something that has never been done before, put ourselves in the history books forever. I can’t ask for much more.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider