It has appeared in recent days that Tua Tagovailoa lost some ground in the Heisman Trophy race to Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. Between Murray’s exceptional performance in the Big 12 Championship Game against Texas, and Tagovailoa’s less-impressive showing against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game before succumbing to an injury, the apparent lock that Tagovailoa had on the award seemed to have loosened.
But Tagovailoa may have just gotten a sign that his Heisman Trophy hopes aren’t as endangered as some believe.
On Thursday, Tagovailoa won the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, which is annually awarded by FBS coaches to the top college player.
While not as prestigious as the Heisman Trophy, recent years have shown that its winners have a knack for taking it home. Each of the last five winners of the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award have gone on to win the Heisman.
The last five Walter Camp Player of the Year Award winners have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy
2013: Jameis Winston
2014: Marcus Mariota
2015: Derrick Henry
2016: Lamar Jackson
2017: Baker Mayfield
With Tua Tagovailoa winning the 2018 award, will that streak continue?
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) December 6, 2018
Tagovailoa made a strong case for the Heisman Trophy this year, even with the shaky performance against Georgia mixed into it.
In 13 games as a starter, Tagovailoa threw for 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns, and only four interceptions (two of which came in the Georgia game) while completing over 67 percent of his passes. On the ground, he had 190 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
The finalists for the Heisman trophy are Tagovailoa, Murray, and Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. The award will be presented on Saturday.