Kyler Murray is The Associated Press college football Player of the Year, the second straight Oklahoma quarterback and fifth overall to win the award since it was established in 1998.
Murray beat out Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in voting by 56 AP college football poll voters who submitted player of the year ballots. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. was third in the award announced Thursday.
Murray received 39 first-place votes and a total of 145 points. Tagovailoa (117 points) received 13 first-place votes and Haskins (55 points) was listed first on four ballots.
All three are finalists for the Heisman Trophy , which will be presented Saturday night in New York.
Murray joins Baker Mayfield (2017), Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008) as previous winners from Oklahoma. No other school has had more than two players win AP Player of the Year.
Murray, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound junior from Allen, Texas, won the award in his final year as a college athlete. The Oakland Athletics took Murray with the ninth pick in the Major League Baseball draft in June. Murray, who batted .296 with 10 home runs and 13 doubles in 50 games as the Sooners’ centre fielder, signed for nearly $5 million, with the A’s agreeing to let him return to school and play football this season .
Murray was Mayfield’s backup last season and won the starter’s job in preseason practice. He went on to become one of three 4,000-yard passers in the nation and threw for 40 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 892 yards and 11 TDs.
Murray leads the country in total offence (4,945 yards), points responsible for (306) and passing efficiency (205.7).
Murray started his career at Texas A&M, where his father, Kevin Murray, set season and career passing records as the Aggies’ quarterback in the mid-1980s. Kyler Murray transferred to Oklahoma after his freshman season and waited for his turn behind Mayfield.
Murray also is a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback and Maxwell Award as the best player. Those awards and others will be presented Thursday night at ESPN’s college football awards show in Atlanta.
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Eric Olson, The Associated Press