Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama, Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, and Dwayne Haskins Jr. of Ohio State are the finalists for The Associated Press college football Player of the Year.
The winner will be announced Thursday. 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, a 2017 graduate of Saint Louis School in Honolulu, 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.
In addition to being a finalist for two major awards, Tagovailoa was also named the SEC offensive player of the year, chosen by Southeastern Conference coaches and announced today.
Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen is the SEC defensive player of the year and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops is the SEC coach of the year.