Tua wins Walter Camp, Maxwell
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa topped Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray in college football player of the year awards on Thursday, winning the Maxwell Award at ESPN’s College Football Awards show in Atlanta shortly after being named the recipient of the Walter Camp award.
Tagovailoa, a sophomore out of Saint Louis School on Oahu, beat out Murray, Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He then won the Maxwell Award over Murray and Grier.
Earlier in the day, Murray was named AP Player of the Year. He then won the Davey O’Brien as top quarterback. Tagovailoa was a finalists for that, too.
Murray and Tagovailoa will now head to New York City as Heisman Trophy finalists, with the winner more uncertain than usual. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. also is a finalist for the Heisman, which will be presented Saturday.
“As a kid you dream of this, winning a Heisman or just any individual award in general,” Tagovailoa said in an interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” after accepting his Walter Camp award. “I think it would be amazing if I did win it, but if I didn’t, I mean, we’ve still got to finish out our season. It’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport, and the best thing I have to offer to my team is giving it all I can.”
The last five Walter Camp winners won the Heisman Trophy and the last four Maxwell winners have won the Heisman, but only twice since 2002 has the AP Player of the Year not won the Heisman — Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh in 2009 and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey in 2015.
Murray and Tagovailoa will then face each other in the College Football Playoff, when No. 1 Alabama plays No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl semifinal on Dec. 29.
The rest of the college football award winners Thursday were:
■ Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen won the Chuck Bednarik award as the nation’s top defensive player.
■ Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman.
■ Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.
■ Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor won the Doak Walker as the nation’s best running.
■ Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver.
■ Syracuse kicker Andre Szmyt won the Lou Groza Award.
■ Texas A&M punter Braden Mann won the Ray Guy Award.
Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama poses with the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp trophies after his wins at the College Football Awards on Thursday.