• Kyler Murray named Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year

    By: Nathan Thompson


    Another big college honor for Kyler Murray. The former Sooner and current Arizona Cardinals quarterback was named the Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year Thursday.


    Murray is the sixth OU male and third in the last four seasons to earn the league's athlete-of-the-year honor. Eleven Sooners have now been named Big 12 Athlete of the Year in the 23-year history of the league, including seven in the last seven years.


    In addition to Murray, OU's Baker Mayfield (2017-18; football), Maggie Nichols (2017-18; women's gymnastics), Buddy Hield (2015-16; men's basketball), Paige Parker (2015-16; softball), Lauren Chamberlain (2014-15; softball), Keilani Ricketts (2012-13; softball), Sam Bradford (2008-09; football), Jason White (2003-04; football), Stacey Dales (2001-02; women's basketball) and Josh Heupel (2000-01; football) have been named Big 12 Athlete of the Year.


    Texas track & field's Ashtin Zamzow was named 2018-19 Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year.


    Murray led the Sooners to a 12-2 record in 2018, a fourth consecutive Big 12 championship, a second straight appearance in the College Football Playoff and a No. 4 final AP ranking in his only year as their starter. The redshirt junior completed 260 of 377 passes on the year for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He also rushed for 1,001 yards and another 12 scores, becoming just the second player in FBS history to throw for at least 4,000 yards and run for at least 1,000 in a season (Clemson's Deshaun Watson did it in 2015 with 4,109 passing and 1,105 rushing in 15 games).


    Murray led the nation in total yards last season (school-record 5,362), points responsible for (324; tied), yards per pass attempt (FBS-record 11.6) and yards per completion (16.8). He also ranked second in passing efficiency rating (school-record 199.2) and passing touchdowns (42).


    Murray's 54 total touchdowns in 2018 were the second most in program history, his 42 passing TDs were third most in a season at OU and his passing yardage total ranks fifth in school annals. He became the first OU player to ever pass for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 100 yards in a game, and he accomplished the feat three times during the season.


    Murray also became the first FBS player to average at least 300.0 passing yards (311.5) and at least 60.0 rushing yards (71.5) per game for a season. His 5,362 yards of total offense were more than 77 of the country's other 129 teams, including five squads that were ranked in the final AP Top 25 Poll.


    In April, Murray put a bow on his historic season when he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He joined defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon (1976), running back Billy Sims (1980) and quarterbacks Sam Bradford (2010) and Baker Mayfield (2018) as Oklahoma players to go No. 1 overall.

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