Didn’t see this one coming at all, did you?
The 2018 Heisman Trophy is essentially a two-player race, with most expecting either Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the season-long favorite, or Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who’s closed the gap considerably the past few weeks to the point that he’s now the wagering favorite, to hoist the stiff-armed trophy at the presentation ceremony this Saturday night in New York City. As the 2017 winner of the most prestigious award in college football, Murray’s former teammate, Baker Mayfield, is now a lifetime Heisman voter.
Following his game Sunday afternoon in Houston, the Cleveland Browns quarterback and No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft was asked to which player he will throw his vote this year. In a surprising development, Mayfield confirmed that he will be voting for Murray.
“You take him out from OU, and they’re not in the playoffs,” Mayfield said of Murray by way of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Best player in the country. Fifty touchdowns responsible for. To me, after being around him it might be easy for me to say that, how special of a player he is, but to me it’s obvious.
“It’s nothing against Tua. Absolutely not. I think he’s had an incredible year, but I think it showed for itself yesterday.”
Mayfield was referring to Tagovailoa having his worst game as a starter — completed just 40 percent of his passes, threw two interceptions in the comeback win over Georgia after throwing just two all season — while Murray shined (again) in the Big 12 championship game win over rival Texas.
Heisman votes were due Monday, Dec. 3, with just 10 percent of the voters having cast their ballots prior to Championship Weekend. Monday night, Tagovailoa and Murray, along with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, were confirmed as the finalists for this year’s trophy.