MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Quarterback Will Grier put together one of the finest individual seasons in West Virginia football history, but ultimately it was not enough to earn a trip to New York City as one of the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins earned invitations to the award ceremony, which will take place in Manhattan on Saturday night. The three finalists were announced on Monday night.
Tagovailoa and Murray have long been considered the front-runners for the award. As indicated by his inclusion with those two players as a Maxwell Award finalist, Grier was a candidate to finish in the top three for the Heisman as well, but an impressive late surge by Haskins appears to have swayed the electorate.
Haskins has played twice since West Virginia’s regular-season finale, which was the night after Thanksgiving. The day after Grier went toe-to-toe with Murray, Haskins tore apart a Michigan defense that went into the final game allowing just 13.5 points per game. Ohio State rolled to a 62-39 win behind Haskins’ 396 passing yards and six touchdowns.
The production continued this weekend as Haskins threw for 499 yards and five touchdowns in Ohio State’s 45-24 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game. Haskins also leapfrogged Grier as the nation’s No. 2 passer after the Big Ten title game and added to his national lead with 47 touchdown passes.
Grier was seeking to become the first West Virginia player to finish in the top three of Heisman voting since Major Harris in 1989. He remains likely to become the first Mountaineer to finish in the top five of voting since running back Steve Slaton finished fourth in 2006.
Grier has thrown for 351.3 yards per game and 37 touchdowns with a 175.5 passer rating this season.