Kyler Murray was named The Associated Press college football Player of the Year on Monday, the second straight Oklahoma quarterback and 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.”
Also Thursday, Tagovailoa won the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards.
Murray received 39 first-place votes for the AP award and a total of 145 points. Tagovailoa received 13 first-place votes (117 points) and 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. 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 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 AP Player of the Year.
Murray, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound junior from Allen, Texas, won the award in 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, signed for nearly $5 million, with the A’s agreeing to let him return to school and play football this season.