Kyler Murray wins the Heisman after electric regular season performance
Coming into Saturday, December 8th, the Heisman race felt like a three-way tie in the minds of many. In a perfect world, all three of the finalists would have won the trophy for their outstanding performances of the course of the season.
At the end of the night, there can only be one winner of the 84th Heisman Trophy, and it was Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray who won the esteemed trophy, making it the second straight year that an Oklahoma quarterback claims the trophy. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield won it last year and was the first overall pick in this past year’s draft.
After winning the trophy, Murray showed his humility and thanked his family and team for helping. He was emotional, as anyone would be while giving his speech for of thanks, with his voice cracking just a tad multiple times.
“Like I said when I was up there, I have been working for this my whole life,” Murray said. “I feel like a lot of hard work went into this, and I’m here thanks to God, my teammates, my coaches, and my family. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but this is crazy.”
All year Kyler Murray looked a league above everyone else on the field. On the way to helping Oklahoma claim the fourth seed in the college playoffs and winning the Big 12 championship against the University of Texas, Murray looked electric. What Murray does not have in size he has in heart, and he left it all on the field this season.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley had much to say about his standout quarterback.
“Its tough to describe but those who have been in the fire understand it,” Riley said. “They understand how much time it takes, the work that it takes, and just to get here a lot of things have to fall your way as well. Kyler Murray getting it is the stuff of legends. With all of the high points, there have been some tough moments for him. To see all that he’s gone through and to see how he’s grown all around gives me a lot of pride.”
Murray won the trophy by a landslide with 2,167 points. University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was in second place with 1,871 points, and Ohio State University quarterback Dwayne Haskins was in third with 783.
When looking at the statistics for the year, Murray stood out. He had 4,053 yards passing with 40 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. He also almost had a 1000-yard season on the ground to compliment his statistics through the year with 892 yards and another 11 touchdowns.
Aside from the Heisman Trophy, Kyler also won the Big 12 Player of the year, the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player, the Davey O’Brien Award, Associated Press Player of the Year, and First-team All-Big 12. Murray’s performance was noticed by other award committees, and it was much deserved.
Murray talked about how even though he had such a sensational year, there were some doubts at times.
“I would be lying if I said no,” Murray replied when asked if he may have had doubts. “It was definitely difficult at times when I was not playing. I always wanted to get out there. I trusted the process and performed when the time came.”
The amazing thing about Murray is the fact that he also plays baseball at a high level, already having been drafted ninth overall last year by the Oakland A’s and signed a five-million-dollar contract. Under the contract, Murray was allowed to play football for one year. He has clearly made the most it.
Murray broke Mayfield’s total offense record with 4,945 yards, playing one fewer game than Mayfield did. The record also outpaces 68 teams, six of which are in the AP Top 25 for total offensive yardage. Murray scored at least two touchdowns in each of his games and scored three touchdowns in 10 out of his 13 contests.
Tagovailoa and Murray will face off in Orange Bowl in a highly anticipated game. The two Heisman finalists are sure to give the college football world a show to watch. The winner will go on to play for the National Championship. Last year Oklahoma was shocked by Georgia and Alabama beat Georgia in the Championship.
By Maximillian C. Burgos