After one of the longer Heisman presentation shows of recent memory, this time filled with awkward segments and enough missed jokes to make you think a Kansas quarterback was making them. Where was I? Oh, right! It was finally announced just after 9 PM ET that Oklahoma Sooner’s quarterback Kyler Murray was victorious in the highly contested 2018 race to the top.
Looking strictly at the numbers makes the decision between Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Murray all the more difficult, but it was the infamous eye test that helped give Murray the edge by the end of the regular season.
Murray was responsible for 51 touchdowns, 40 through the air, another 11 on the ground. He outran his competition by a wide margin, running 123 times throughout the course of the 2018 season. Haskins and Tagovailoa? A combined 121 rushes. Finishing with the highest quarterback rating between the three and pulling away from the pack late with 4,945 total yards accrued, the decision was easy.
Tua Tagovailoa’s downfall? The strength of Alabama. His services weren’t required often time in the fourth quarter for the Crimson Tide. These circumstances led to the quarterback’s total stats suffering in the long run. Tagovailoa posted 700 less passing yards than the winner Murray and finished over a thousand away from Haskin’s mark. Then, in the SEC Championship Game, Tua was removed due to a leg injury sustained and his replacement Jalen Hurts led the Crimson Tide back from the brink of defeat.
As for Haskins, his pocket throwing, NFL prototype build and play style weighed him down in the eyes of voters. Kyler Murray flashed brilliance with 892 rushing yards; Haskins finished with 122. And while the Buckeye set school and B1G records all year, it wasn’t enough to bring home the gold. Haskins wasn’t exactly expected to pull of the upset, but his presence in New York was well deserved. He’ll have an interesting decision to make regarding his future in the near future.
What’s Next for Kyler Murray?
First of all, his season is not over yet. Now the Sooners have to refocus and prepare for Nick Saban, Tua Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide in the 2018 Orange Bowl on December 29th.
After that, it’s unknown. Baseball or football? Why not both?It’s expected that Murray will leave the Sooners to pursue a career with the Oakland Athletics, but the decision is his. He’s stated his desire to leave for Oakland, but remains hopeful he can play pro football at some point, too. Whether or not Kyler Murray is the next Bo Jackson remains to be seen, but there is still plenty to watch for from the Sooner star.