If the early awards are any indication, the Heisman Trophy vote could be one of the closest in recent memory. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Alabama signal caller Tua Tagovailoa split four postseason awards on Thursday.
Murray won the Associated Press’ Player of the Year and the Davey O’Brien award for the nation’s top quarterback. Tagovailoa picked up the Walter Camp Award for best player and the Maxwell Award for player of the year. The past four Maxwell winners and past five Walter Camp winners have all gone on to win the Heisman. But this is the sixth time in the past 15 seasons that different quarterbacks took home the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards, and in four of the previous five times the Heisman went to the O’Brien winner. And only five Heisman winners have failed to win AP Player of the Year since the award started in 1998.
So Saturday could go either way. Murray is the -270 favorite to win the Heisman. Tagovailoa led the odds most of the year, but has slipped to second choice at +160.
Kelly Bryant Transfers to Missouri
Another quarterback who thought he would be challenging Murray and Tagovailoa for the Heisman was former Clemson player Kelly Bryant. Bryant, however, lost his job to the country’s No. 1 recruit Trevor Lawrence.
He announced this week that he was transferring to Missouri.
Tiger coach Dabo Swinney said the two would be competing for the starting job. Bryant managed to retain his job, but by the fourth game he was the backup. He left school shortly thereafter.
“Kelly took us to the Sugar Bowl and to the Playoff and 12 wins,” Swinney said. “But when we came in the spring, and Trevor was here in January, you have to earn it every year. So we had a quarterback competition. And I was very up front with that in the spring. They competed all the way. And Kelly came out of camp ahead, but it was close enough to where we said, ‘Look, we’re going to play them right out of the gate. We’re going to play both guys, and we’re going to see if it settles on the field.’”
Bryant should be able to help Missouri next season. Four-year starter Drew Lock departs and Bryant will most likely be the starter.
Meyer’s Departure Felt in Recruiting
Turns out Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is not the only one who is leaving the football program. The Buckeyes found out this week that two high-profile recruits had decided to withdraw their commitment to OSU.
The first was four-star safety Lejond Cavazos. Then four-star offensive tackle Jake Wray—the 56th-ranked player from the class of 2020, said he was keeping his options open. Both players said Meyer leaving was a big reason for them to pull out.
The 2019 class, however, hasn’t had any defections thus far. New coach Ryan Day spent this week visiting several recruits, traveling to three states in one day.
New Coach at Colorado
Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is the new coach for Colorado, leaving the SEC for the struggling Pac-12 Conference school. Tucker replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was fired Nov.18.
Tucker promised a new attitude at the program, that was 5-7, including 2-7 in conference.
“We’re going to live tough,” Tucker said. “We’re going to eat tough, we’re going to practice tough. It’s going to be who we are. It’s going to be part of the culture.”