Oklahoma will have a Heisman Trophy finalist in New York City for the fourth consecutive season.
Jalen Hurts was selected alongside LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Ohio State defensive back Chase Young on Monday.
For the second straight year OU’s quarterback is a finalist opposite his counterpart in the College Football Playoff. Burrow and Hurts will square off when OU plays LSU in the national semifinal Peach Bowl on Dec. 28.
But Hurts is considered a heavy underdog for the award, with Burrow the frontrunner. It’s unlikely OU produces its third consecutive Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, following up Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray’s feats from 2017 and 2018.
The group will attend Saturday’s ceremony where the winner will be announced at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
BetOnline.ag gave Hurts 20/1 odds in the final week of the regular season. Hurts was fifth in CBS’ latest Heisman watch and fourth in ESPN’s.
This the first finalist nomination for Hurts, who played three seasons at Alabama before transferring to OU last offseason.
He has accounted for 4,889 total yards of offense, third nationally, and 50 total touchdowns at OU this fall. That includes 32 passing touchdowns.
Those who compare Hurts directly to Murray and Mayfield scrutinize his play against a high standard. But Hurts has developed immensely in this area under Lincoln Riley. Among active players, his 200.3 passer rating is second behind Burrow (201.5) this season.
Hurts’ 71.8 percent completion rate is up 11 points from his numbers in 2017 and nine points from 2016. His 3,634 passing yards are also a career high.
However, his 13 turnovers —7 interceptions and 6 lost fumbles — and OU’s loss to Kansas State back in October are factors that curtail his odds of winning.
He is OU’s 11th finalist selection out of eight different players who’ve been chosen — some twice. Brian Bosworth (1986), Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003, ’04), Adrian Peterson (2004), Sam Bradford (2008), Dede Westbrook (2016), Mayfield (2016, ’17) and Murray (2018) are Sooners who’ve been in the running previously.