Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy

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The 2018 Heisman Trophy finalists were revealed Monday with three players earning invitations to the ceremony Saturday night in New York City.

The finalists are Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, and Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Former Heisman winners and hundreds of media members vote for the award by selecting three players on their ballot. A first-place vote is worth three points, a second-place vote is worth two points and a third-place vote is worth one point. Votes were due Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Here is more about each of the finalists:

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tagovailoa can become the third Alabama player in the past 10 seasons to win the award, but the first quarterback. Alabama never had a Heisman winner before Mark Ingram broke the drought in 2009 and Derrick Henry followed suit in 2015. Tagovailoa has been the heavy Heisman favorite for much of the year with his super efficient performances for the country’s most dominant team.

Along the way, Tagovailoa accumulated 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 67.7 percent of his passes and leading the nation in yards per completion (16.9). As Alabama blew out every team on its regular season schedule, Tagovailoa rarely saw a snap past the third quarter.

However, he had his worst outing of the season in the SEC title game win over Georgia. Before leaving with a sprained ankle, Tagovailoa completed just 10-of-25 passes for 164 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. After he left the game, Jalen Hurts — who Tagovailoa replaced in last year’s national title game — entered the game and led the Tide to a come-from-behind victory. Will Saturday’s turn of events end up costing him a Heisman Trophy.

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

After serving as Heisman winner Baker Mayfield’s backup in 2017, Murray, a first-round MLB draft choice, has taken the college football world by storm in what is likely his last season of football before beginning his baseball career. The dual-threat quarterback can make it consecutive Heisman wins for Oklahoma quarterbacks. According to the Heisman website, if Murray wins, it would mark the first time a Heisman’s successor has won the trophy himself.

In leading his team to the College Football Playoff, Murray has put up ridiculous numbers all year, totaling 4,053 passing yards, 892 rushing yards and 51 total touchdowns (40 passing, 11 rushing). Along the way, Murray has nine 300-yard passing efforts, 10 games with at least three touchdown passes and is averaging 380.4 yards of offense per game. His pass efficiency rating of 205.7 is the best in the country and better than Mayfield’s record-setting efficiency from last season (198.9).

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Haskins leads the country in passing yards and touchdown passes and could give Ohio State a record eighth Heisman Trophy. The Buckeyes were previously tied with Notre Dame for the top spot with seven Heisman wins apiece.

Haskins shook off a few mediocre games in early November with three sparking performances down the stretch. Over OSU’s final three games — wins over Maryland, Michigan and Northwestern — Haskins combined for 1,300 passing yards and 17 total touchdowns (14 passing, three rushing) to help his charge to the Heisman ceremony. That includes 499 yards and five scores in the Big Ten title game victory over Northwestern.

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