COLUMN: My 2018 Heisman Vote


Associated Press

Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray attempts a pass.

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

The Heisman Trophy is awarded on an annual basis to College Football’s best player for his individual performance on his respective team. Typically, the award is often won by quarterbacks, as a passer has won the trophy in the last eight of 10 seasons. The two outliers were both Alabama running backs: Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015).

This season, the “Heisman house” has not elected an Alabama running back or any FBS running back as a finalist for the award. The three finalists for this year are all quarterbacks: Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.

Unfortunately, I do not have an official vote as I am not a member on the Heisman committee, so I am making my case for my vote here.

To my recollection, this year’s race is as close as it’s been in the last four years. Here are some brief statistics for the three candidates:

  • Haskins:4,580 passing yards, 47 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 70.2 percent completion
  • Murray:4,053 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 70.9 percent completion, 892 rushing yards
  • Tagovailoa: 3,989 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, four interceptions, 67.7 percent completion

Alabama’s Tagovailoa is regarded as the favorite to win the trophy, after leading the Crimson Tide to a 13–0 record as the starting quarterback.

Oklahoma’s Murray is a close second, as he set the school record for most total offensive yardage (4,945) in a single season.

Ohio State’s Haskins is the one most likely not to win the award, even though he has the best numbers.

My pick for the 2018 Heisman Trophy is Murray. His dynamic play-making ability was evident in both the pass game and run game for the Sooners. Murray was the most valuable player to his team, as Alabama had a great defense and Ohio State has premiere talent all around Haskins.

If Murray wins the Heisman, Oklahoma would be the first school to have back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners from the same position but different players.

Current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield won the award in 2017.

My gut feeling is Tagovailoa will win the Heisman, but Murray is, to me, a no-brainer.