Murray named Big 12’s top male athlete

NORMAN — Kyler Murray has added another accolade to his impressive resume, as the former Oklahoma quarterback was announced 2018-19 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday by the conference office. 

Murray is the sixth OU male athlete 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.

Nominees for this year's Big 12 Athlete of the Year awards were submitted by Big 12 institutions and selected by a media panel based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship. Fan voting conducted via also was a consideration in the final tallies. 

From Allen, Texas, 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. 

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