Heisman Trophy winners Desmond Howard (’91) and Charles Woodson (’97) announced tonight (Dec. 3) that the finalists for the 84th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy are Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The announcement of the finalists was made on ESPN’s 6:00 PM EST telecast of its Monday Night Countdown show.
The three finalists will be invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy announcement on Saturday, December 8, which will broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST, presented by Nissan North America.
Haskins, a third-year sophomore, is the first Buckeye to be named a Heisman finalist since Troy Smith won the award in 2006. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder from Potomac, Md., set more than 20 school records on his way to guiding the Big Ten champion Buckeyes to a 12-1 record and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Haskins led the nation in touchdown passes (47) and yards (4,580) and was second nationally in passing yards per game (352). His passer rating of 175.77 was fourth-best. Haskins completed 70.2 percent of his passes and was intercepted just eight times in 496 attempts. He also added 122 yards and four scores on the ground. He is attempting to win Ohio State’s record-setting eighth Heisman.
Murray, a fourth-year junior, is the 10th Sooner to be named a Heisman finalist. He is trying to become the first player to replace a Heisman Trophy winner by winning the Heisman himself the following season. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder from Allen, Texas, led the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 205.72 (an NCAA record as it stands). His 51 total touchdowns (40 passing, 11 rushing) leads the nation as does his total offense yardage of 4,945. He led Oklahoma to the Big 12 title, a 12-1 record and a second-consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff. A former first-round pick in Major League Baseball, Murray started his career at Texas A&M, but transferred to Oklahoma in 2016. If Murray wins, he will be the seventh Sooner to bring home the Heisman.
Tagovailoa, a second-year sophomore, is the eighth Alabama player to be named a Heisman finalist. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder from Ewa, Hawaii, led the Crimson Tide to a perfect 13-0 mark and a No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff while throwing for 3,353 yards with 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He completed almost 68 percent of his passes and his 202.30 passer rating was second nationally. Tagovailoa was able to put up these numbers despite barely playing in the fourth quarter of games this season as Alabama defeated teams by an average score of 48-15. If he wins, he’ll join Marcus Mariota as the second player in the last five years to win the Heisman after attending St. Louis High in Honolulu, and he’ll be the third Alabama player (and first quarterback) to win the award.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy electorate, which selects the finalists and the Heisman winner, is comprised of 929 voters, including 870 media members and 58 former Heisman winners. The public at large is granted one overall fan vote, thanks to Heisman’s Premier Partner, Nissan North America.
“This is an elite trio of quarterbacks and we are excited to host them in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony,” said Rob Whalen, Executive Director of the Heisman Trophy Trust. “We look forward to recognizing their remarkable individual accomplishments and celebrating the winner of the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.”
Tickets are still available for the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner on Sunday, December 9 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The winner will be presented with his award at this event, where two former Heisman winners will also be recognized: Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993) on the 25th Anniversary of his award and Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2008) on the 10th Anniversary of his award. The Trust will also recognize former Major League Baseball all-star Mark Teixeira as the 2018 Heisman Humanitarian Award winner for his support of educational opportunities for at-risk youth.
Media looking to obtain credentials for the 2018 Heisman weekend can apply via the Media tab of http://www.heisman.com.