Heisman Trophy: Stock soared for first-time starting quarterbacks
NEW YORK >> Tua Tagovailoa rolled across the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on a black scooter with a little Alabama sticker on the front, his sprained left ankle in a gray plastic boot, safely propped up as he pushed off with his right foot.
The Crimson Tide quarterback and fellow Heisman Trophy finalists Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State were on Wall Street on Friday to ring the closing bell on a day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 558 points.
Stock for the three first-year starters has been soaring this season. A year ago they were second on their team’s depth chart. On Saturday, one of them will win the Heisman Trophy.
Tagovailoa picked up where he left off in the second half of last season’s national championship game victory against Georgia to lead the top-ranked Crimson Tide back to the playoff as a sophomore.
Haskins, a third-year sophomore, stepped in after the departure of a four-year starter and smashed Ohio State and Big Ten passing records.
Murray, a fourth-year junior, replaced last season’s Heisman winner and had an even better season than his predecessor. Murray waited the longest to take over a team, transferring from Texas A&M after a rocky freshman season, taking a redshirt year and then backing up Baker Mayfield in 2017.
“I think sitting down and watching is kind of important,” Murray said. “I know Dwayne got to sit and watch. Tua obviously got to sit and watch. I think it just helps you with your growth and maturing on and off the field. I think that’s a big part.”
For the 16th time in the last 19 years, a QB will win college football’s most coveted individual award and that should not be a surprise this season. This has been the year of the quarterback, with FBS records for completion percentage, yards per pass and yards passing per game all within range as bowl season arrives. For the first time since 2008, when Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow were the Heisman finalists, only quarterbacks were invited to New York for the trophy presentation.
Heisman Trophy finalists, from left, Dwayne Haskins, from Ohio State, Kyler Murray, of Oklahoma, and Tua Tagovailoa, from Alabama, pose with the Heisman Trophy at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.