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Washington State’s Gardner Minshew finishes fifth in Heisman Trophy voting

Washington State  quarterback Gardner Minshew  watches the replay board during the second half  on  Sept. 29 at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

In a season that’s been jammed with personal milestones, a fifth-place finish in Heisman Trophy voting is the latest one for Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew.

The fifth-year graduate transfer became the eighth player in WSU history to finish in the top 10 of the Heisman voting when the final numbers were released Saturday evening, shortly after Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was announced as the recipient of college football’s top award.

With 126 points, Minshew finished fifth, four points below West Virginia quarterback Will Grier. It’s the second-highest finish in school history, next to ex-WSU quarterback Ryan Leaf, who earned a trip to New York City in 1997 and was third in Heisman voting.

Murray (2,167), Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (1,871) and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins (783) ran away with the three finalist spots. Minshew’s name appeared on 95 of the 929 Heisman ballots. The WSU QB collected six first-place votes – two more than Grier – 15 second-place votes and 74 third-place votes.

There was a significant gap between Minshew and sixth-place finisher McKenzie Milton of Central Florida. Milton finished with 39 points. Rounding out the top 10 were Clemson running back Travis Etienne (29), Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (27), Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor (26) and Memphis running back Darrell Henderson.

Minshew finished the regular season as the national leader in passing yards per game at 373.1, ahead of Haskins and Grier. He was the only player in the country with six games of 400 passing yards or more and posted a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 36-9. Both his completions (433) and attempts (613) were tops in the country.