Kyler Murray is The Associated Press college football player of the year for 2018, becoming the second straight Oklahoma quarterback and the fifth overall to win the award since it was established in 1998.
Murray beat out Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on 56 ballots submitted by AP college football poll voters and announced Thursday. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. was third.
"It's humbling and an honor to be named AP player of the year, to be mentioned in the same realm as a lot of great players, a lot of hall of famers," Murray said. "It's a special deal for me, and hopefully I can continue to make my family and teammates proud."
Murray received 39 first-place votes and a total of 145 points. Tagovailoa received 13 first-place votes (117 points), while Haskins was listed first on four ballots (55 points).
All three are finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday night in New York City. Murray and Tagovailoa will face each other in the College Football Playoff when No. 1 Alabama (13-0) plays No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) in the Orange Bowl national semifinal on Dec. 29.
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 the award.
Murray, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound junior from Allen, Texas, won the award in what is expected to be 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' center fielder this past spring, has 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 practices. He went on to become one of three 4,000-yard passers in the nation this year and threw for 40 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 892 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he leads the country in total offense (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 transferred to Oklahoma after his freshman season, sat out a season per transfer rules, then backed up Mayfield.
"It's been a long journey with a lot of waiting, but I think it's all been worth it," Murray said. "All the hard work with my teammates has really paid off."
Murray received the Davey O'Brien Award, presented to the nation's top quarterback, during college football's annual awards show Thursday night in Atlanta. He beat out Tagovailoa and Washington State's Gardner Minshew II for that honor.
The Sooners star was a finalist for the Maxwell Award for the player of the year, but that went to Tagovailoa. West Virginia's Will Grier was the other finalist.
Here's a list of the rest of the honorees from the 2018 college football awards show Thursday night in Atlanta:
» Walter Camp Award (player of the year): Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
» Doak Walker Award (outstanding running back): Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
» Fred Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver): Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
» Chuck Bedarnik Trophy (best defensive player): Josh Allen, Kentucky
» Outland Trophy (outstanding collegiate interior lineman): Quinnen Williams, Alabama
» Dick Butkus Award (best linebacker): Devin White, LSU
» Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back): Deandre Baker, Georgia
» Bronko Nagurski (outstanding defensive player): Josh Allen, Kentucky
» Lou Groza Award (outstanding place-kicker): Andre Szmyt, Syracuse
» John Mackey (best tight end): T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
» Ray Guy Award (best punter): Braden Mann, Texas A&M
» Holder of the Year Award: Mac Loudermilk, Central Florida
» Sports Spirit Award: Tyler Trent, Purdue's No. 1 fan
» Home Depot Award (coach of the year): Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
» NCFAA Contribution to College Football Award: Historically Black College and Universities