Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS -

Dwayne Hask­ins Jr.

Sopho­more, QB, Ohio State

BIO: Af­ter a red­shirt year, the New Jersey na­tive who played prep ball in Po­tomac, Md., waited his turn be­hind J.T. Bar­rett last year. His le­gend grew as he en­tered the 2017 Michi­gan game af­ter a Bar­rett in­jury and led the Buck­eyes to a come-from-be­hind vic­tory. He be­came the undis­puted starter last sum­mer when Joe Bur­row trans­ferred to LSU.

KEY STATS: Fin­ished the reg­u­lar sea­son with 4,580 pass­ing yards and 47 touch­downs, both of which led the na­tion. Broke 11 Big Ten and Ohio State sin­gle-sea­son records. Tied for 10th all-time for pass­ing touch­downs in a sin­gle sea­son in NCAA his­tory.

THE SKINNY: Passed his way into the Heis­man Tro­phy race and then put an ex­cla­ma­tion point on it in the Big Ten cham­pi­onship, pass­ing for 499 yards and five touch­downs against North­west­ern hours be­fore bal­lots were due. The week be­fore, he lit up archri­val and No. 4 Michi­gan for 396 yards and six touch­downs. The Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day may be his last game be­fore he de­clares for the NFL draft, which seems likely. Ex­perts say he could be a firstround pick.

Kyler Mur­ray

Junior, QB, Ok­la­homa

BIO: First-round Ma­jor League Base­ball pick by the Oak­land Ath­let­ics chose to re­turn to cam­pus and play foot­ball. Started his col­lege foot­ball ca­reer at Texas A&M be­fore trans­fer­ring. Backed up Heis­man win­ner Baker May­field last year.

KEY STATS: Passed for 4,053 yards and 40 touch­downs with just seven in­ter­cep­tions; rushed for 892 yards and 11 scores. His 205.7 passer rat­ing would be the best in FBS his­tory.

THE SKINNY: Ac­tu­ally had a bet­ter sea­son than May­field’s se­nior cam­paign. He added a dy­namic rush­ing el­e­ment at quar­ter­back to coach Lin­coln Ri­ley’s of­fense, and teams have not been able to ac­count for his speed. He shook off a rough start against Texas Tech to have one of his best games. Avenged reg­u­lar-sea­son loss to Texas in the Big 12 cham­pi­onship game. Con­stantly de­liv­ered when Ok­la­homa’s de­fense couldn’t give him a cush­ion.

Tua Tago­v­ailoa

Sopho­more, QB, Alabama BIO: A na­tive of Hawaii, Tago­v­ailoa was a five-star re­cruit who came off the bench to lead a come­back in the na­tional cham­pi­onship game to fin­ish his fresh­man sea­son. Beat out two-year starter Jalen Hurts.

KEY STATS: Passed for 3,353 yards and 37 touch­downs against four in­ter­cep­tions. Had a string of 194 passes with­out an in­ter­cep­tion start­ing in the third quar­ter of Jan­uary’s ti­tle game with Ge­or­gia. At­tempted only three fourth-quar­ter passes dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son with Alabama build­ing big leads.

THE SKINNY: Opened the sea­son as the fa­vorite for the Heis­man de­spite not start­ing a game, thanks largely to a per­for­mance in the na­tional ti­tle game that in­cluded the 41-yard win­ning touch­down pass in over­time. Left the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game in the same At­lanta sta­dium with a high an­kle sprain. In­jured early in the game and again late, it was a rare off-per­for­mance for Tago­v­ailoa.

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