Oklahoma football: Kyler Murray named a Maxwell Award semifinalist

Oklahoma football’s Kyler Murray has made the 20-man cutdown list as a semifinalist for the 2018 Maxwell Award.

Murray is one of two Big 12 players to be named Maxwell Award semifinalists for this season. Will Grier, West Virginia quarterback, is also a semifinalist for the award, presented annually to college football’s Player of the Year.

The 20 semifinalists include 10 quarterback candidates, including Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, who among with Murray is currently considered a front runner for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

OU’s Baker Mayfield was the Maxwell Award winner last season. Murray is attempting to be the fourth Oklahoma Sooner to win the award. Previous winners were Tommy McDonald (1956), Jason White (2003) and Mayfield (2017).

Murray is having a sensational season in his first year as the Sooners’ starting quarterback. Through eight games, he ranks second in the country in completion percentage (.732), passing efficiency rating (227.3), yards per pass attempt (12.7), yards per completion (17.4) and points responsible for per game (25.5). Murray’s 25.5 points responsible per game leads all Power Five players this season.

Through eight games this season, Murray has a better passing efficiency rating, more touchdowns (34), more yards per pass attempt, more yards per completion and a better touchdown-to-interception ratio (9.3) than Mayfield, White and Sam Bradford did in the season they won the Heisman Trophy.

Four times this season, Murray has been named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. That ties Mayfield for the most Big 12 weekly honors in the same season.

In June, Murray signed a $4.7 million contract with Major League Baseball’s Oklahoma Athletics. he was the ninth overall player selected in the 2018 MLB Draft. This is expected to be his final season at Oklahoma.