Former Saint Louis star Tua Tagovailoa is one of three players named as a finalist for Associated Press College Football Player of the Year.
Tagovailoa, who has led Alabama to the national semifinals, was also named as one of five finalists for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award, along with two other players with Hawaii ties.
Also up for the AP award are quarterbacks Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins Jr. of Ohio State. The winner will be announced today. The finalists are the same as those for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday.
Murray leads the country in total offense (4,945 yards), points responsible for (306) and passing efficiency (205.7). He would be the second straight Oklahoma quarterback to win the AP honor. Baker Mayfield was player of the year and Heisman Trophy winner in 2017.
Tagovailoa has completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,353 yards and a school-record 37 touchdowns against only four interceptions.
He and Murray will also face off in the College Football Playoff, when No. 1 Alabama faces No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl semifinal on Dec. 29.
Haskins set Big Ten passing records with a nation-leading 4,580 yards and 47 touchdowns in his first year as the Buckeyes’ starter.
The AP player of the year has been awarded since 1998. Oklahoma has had four previous winners: Mayfield in 2017, quarterback Josh Heupel in 2001, quarterback Jason White in 2003 and quarterback Sam Bradford in 2008.
Ohio State’s only AP player of the year was quarterback Troy Smith in 2006.
Alabama has never had a player win the award.
Ursua and Gilman also up for Polynesian award
Hawaii receiver John Ursua and former Kahuku standout defensive back Alohi Gilman also are among the Polynesian award finalists.
Ursua was an All-Mountain West first-team selection after finishing fifth nationally in receiving with 1,342 yards, and led the country with 16 touchdowns. He was also named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist earlier this season.
For Notre Dame, Gilman made 76 total tackles, with three pass break-ups and two interceptions in his first year for the Fighting Irish after transferring from Navy. He was a first team Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selection as a senior in 2014.
The other two finalists are defensive end AJ Epenesa of Iowa and offensive lineman Dru Samia of Oklahoma.
The winner of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced Dec. 13.