Putting aside a multi-million dollar Major League Baseball career to play one more year with Oklahoma was unprecedented amongst student athletes and well worth it for the junior signal-caller.
Murray was the torch-bearer to Baker Mayfield and led the Sooners to their fourth-straight Big 12 Title and second-straight berth in the College Football Playoff. Murray is one of three quarterbacks who’ll be making the trip to New York this weekend for College Football’s most prestigious award.
The Heisman Trophy is supposed to be awarded to the most outstanding player and what that individual means to their team. Very few programs can stand strong without their star player. Alabama withstood the loss of Tua Tagovailoa because Jalen Hurts rallied the team back and won the SEC Title. It’s a luxury when your backup quarterback is 26-2 as a starter.
However, the Sooners wouldn’t be that fortunate if a similar situation had happened to them in the Big 12 Championship. Backup quarterbacks Austin Kendall and Tanner Mordecai have combined for 21 pass attempts, 159 yards and one touchdown for Oklahoma this season. This shows how significant Murray is to his team’s overall success. He also helped the Sooners’ offense overcome the loss of star running back Rodney Anderson two games into the season.
The Texas native finished the regular season with 4,053 yards through the air and 40 touchdowns, both No. 1 in the Big 12. Murray also has the highest completion percentage of any starting quarterback in the league. He’s proved to be one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and has nearly a 1,000 yards on the ground to go along with 11 rushing scores.
The Sooners’ offense has been on fire all season long, but their eye-popping numbers have overshadowed a defense that’s one of the worst units in the nation. Oklahoma is No. 1 in the Big 12 in several offensive categories, including points and yards per game, plus total touchdowns.
Murray has been the face of Sooner Football this season and a class act on and off the field also. Although he’s a millionaire you would never know it with how humble the 21-year old comes across during interviews. It’s obvious his parents raised him right. Murray represents everything positive about College Football and has already shown student athletes around the country that earning a degree is just as important as chasing the fortune and fame.
He has shown great character, competitive spirit, a little charisma and leadership, which are all great attributes that a Heisman Finalist must possess. Murray is also a winner and has a chance to lead the Sooners to their first National Championship since 2000.
All the naysayers perceive Oklahoma as chokers and the program needs to finally win the big one in order to silence all the critics. Murray has the opportunity to do just that in the Orange Bowl against Alabama and it will feature two Heisman Finalists going head-to-head.
After last week’s performance, Murray is likely the new favorite in the Heisman race. Don’t be surprised if he’s hoisting the hardware over his head as Oklahoma’s seventh Heisman Trophy winner this Saturday.