By Jamie Plunkett
Frogs Today staff writer
NEW YORK — USC quarterback Caleb Williams took home college football’s most prestigious hardware Saturday night, winning the Heisman Trophy. TCU quarterback Max Duggan, one of four finalists for the award, finished second in the voting.
Duggan, TCU’s first Heisman finalist since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2000, finished with 1,420 total points, including 188 first-place votes. Williams finished with 2,031 total points and 544 first place votes.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud finished third in the voting, while Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett finished fourth.
Williams was graceful in victory, pointing out that the three other finalists are going somewhere he isn’t.
“I may be standing up here,” Williams said. “But y’all get to go to the College Football Playoff.”
Duggan’s second-place finish is the highest finish for a TCU player since Jim Swink finished second in 1955. LaDainian Tomlinson and Trevone Boykin finished fourth in the voting in 2000 and 2014.
Duggan opened the 2022 season as TCU’s backup, losing the starting job to Chandler Morris. An injury in TCU’s season opener against Colorado opened the door for Duggan, and he never relinquished the job.
As he led TCU to the Big 12 championship game with a perfect 12-0 regular season, Duggan also led the Big 12 in a variety of passing stats, including passing efficiency, passing yards, passing touchdowns, yards per attempt and yards per completion.
Despite not receiving enough votes to bring Heisman back to Fort Worth, Duggan has not gone empty-handed this postseason. The senior won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, both of which are given annually to the best quarterback in the country.
Prior to the trophy presentation, all four finalists spoke with the media one last time.
“It has been a lot of fun,” Duggan. “I’ve gotten a lot of advice from guys just to take a couple of moments to pause and enjoy it, and I’ve been able to do that a couple times. Just seeing where I’m at, how luck I am to be here, how lucky TCU is to be here.”
Duggan feels lucky while TCU faithful know he was deserving.
The embattled three-year starter has done everything for TCU during his time in Fort Worth. From a heart procedure that allowed him to get back on the field, to committing to being the best backup quarterback in the country, Duggan’s character has shone through every step of the way.
Now, he’ll forever be a Heisman finalist.
Duggan’s next step, though, is to get back to work. He’ll fly back to Fort Worth on Sunday and immediately begin to prepare for TCU’s appearance in the College Football Playoff. The Horned Frogs face off against Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Jamie Plunkett, firstname.lastname@example.org