Bo Nix’s whirlwind week continues with a weekend in New York, where he hopes to become the Oregon Ducks’ second Heisman Trophy winner.
The UO quarterback began the week back in Las Vegas, where he was awarded the Campbell Trophy by the National Football Foundation on Tuesday. By Wednesday night, Nix was on the west sideline of Bryant-Denny Stadium watching his father, Pat, coach Central-Phenix City to the Alabama 7A state championship.
On Thursday night, Nix was in midtown Manhattan with his parents and wife, Izzy, for the first of five-plus days of Heisman weekend.
“It’s been crazy,” Nix said. “It’s been the trip of a lifetime, I feel like. I really want to, at the end of the day, just enjoy every part of it, enjoy every moment that I get. Regardless of what happens at the end, this is a goal or dream of mine that I’ve had for a long time. To be able to experience it and go through it, it’s a true blessing and it’s an honor.”
Nix is one of four finalists for the 87th Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday night (5 p.m., ESPN). LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. are the other finalists for the top individual award in college football.
Nix went from the favorite to third place in betting markets following the Pac-12 championship game, in which he went 21 of 34 for 239 yards with three touchdowns and an interception and had six carries for 69 yards in a 34-31 Oregon loss to Washington.
It was the least accurate, productive and efficient game of the season for Nix, who leads the nation in completion percentage (77.2%), is tied for the FBS lead with 40 touchdown passes and is second nationally in passing yards (4,145), passer efficiency rating (186.24) and total touchdowns (46).
That showing likely dropped Nix behind Daniels, who won the Davey O’Brien and Walter Camp awards and is the frontrunner, and possibly Penix, who won the Maxwell Award. But each award has unique groups of voters and varying deadlines.
Nix said it would be hard to put into words what it would mean to win the Heisman.
“It would mean so much more than I could even probably explain,” Nix said. “To be here is a blessing and I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it would mean a lot to win because you join such a great group. To receive that honor is a high accolade. It’s a really awesome award. There’s so much to it.
“But I also know one thing is not going to define a career. You’ve always got to keep working after that, whether you win or lose, and you kind of got to make the most out of it. I’ve just enjoyed the opportunity, enjoyed the time to be here.”
The fourth Heisman Trophy finalist in Oregon history, Nix would join Marcus Mariota (2014) as the program’s only winners. Joey Harrington (2001) and LaMichael James (2010) were also finalists from UO.
But Nix and his family will remember this week for far more than the trophies they won or the ones they didn’t.
In Las Vegas, he got to spend time with Tim Tebow, along with Peyton and Archie Manning. In Tuscaloosa, he attended one of his dad’s games for the first time since 2021, captured the team’s celebration via cell phone like any other spectator and showed even more joy for his father’s success as a coach than his own the night before.
“That was really fun to go back and to see those guys and to see a bunch of family and to watch Dad go out there and coach, watch those guys play,” Nix said. “It’s hard to win a state championship. It’s fun to be back watching high school football.”
He joined the other finalists for a promotional event serving food at Raising Cane’s in Times Square on Friday morning and later went to Edge New York, the observation deck at Hudson Yards, among other events.
A larger contingent of family will join Nix for the trophy presentation on Saturday, along with Oregon coach Dan Lanning and offensive coordinator Will Stein.
It’s Nix’s first trip to New York in many years — his grandparents brought him to a game at the old Yankee Stadium when he was a kid. This weekend will be even more memorable, regardless of whether he hoists the 13-inch, 45-pound bronze trophy.
“My family and I have always said we want to go back because New York’s a fun palace to be,” Nix said. “I’m super excited to be here, excited to be a finalist.
“I can’t believe that I’ve been able to represent Oregon in the way that I have. It’s a true honor to me and I wouldn’t trade any experience for what I had and what I have been able to receive from playing for Oregon. I know a lot of guys wish to be here, so I don’t take that lightly. The fan base and the history of Oregon, I’m proud to represent them.”
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