Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma's Kyler Murray split four college football year-end awards Thursday, setting up a showdown for Saturday night when they contend for the Heisman Trophy. This week, he has been named the AP Player of the Year and the Davey O'Brien Award victor, and he hopes to add the Heisman Trophy to his collection Saturday night in NY. Tagovailoa won the Maxwell over fellow finalists Murray and Grier.
Murray beat out Tagovailoa and Washington State's Gardner Minshew II for the Davey O'Brien.
The last five winners of the Walter Camp have gone on to win the Heisman, but only five Heisman winners have failed to win AP Player of the Year since the award started in 1998.
"I think he's been one of the best players in college football all year long", Alabama head coach Nick Saban said last week.
Murray received 39 first-place votes and a total of 145 points. Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield won the Davey O'Brien and Maxwell awards on his way to the 2017 Heisman Trophy. The Oakland Athletics took Murray with the ninth pick in the Major League Baseball draft in June.
The skinny: Opened the season as the betting favorite for the Heisman despite not starting a game, thanks largely to a performance in the national title game that included the 41-yard winning touchdown pass in overtime. Tagovailoa has thrown for 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns to four interceptions and has completed almost 68 percent of his passes. He also has rushed for 892 yards and 11 TDs. Murray and Tagovailoa will face each other in the College Football Playoff, when No. 1 Alabama plays No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl semifinal on December 29.