FORT WORTH, Texas — In 1938, Davey O'Brien became the first and, thus far, only TCU football player to win the Heisman Trophy as the Horned Frogs ended the year as national champions.
Following his death in 1977, the Davey O'Brien Award was established in his honor. The award is given annually to the top collegiate quarterback.
On Monday afternoon at the Fort Worth Club, four miles north from where he played on Saturdays, Max Duggan became the first TCU player to win the Davey O'Brien Award.
"It's pretty surreal," Duggan said during Monday's press conference. "A year ago, I came here to have dinner with family friends. And I never would have thought I'd be here a year later winning the Davey O'Brien Award."
Duggan joins some elite company. Past winners include Pro Football Hall of Famers Troy Aikman (1988), Steve Young (1983) and Peyton Manning (1997).
Duggan's season was nothing short of remarkable, especially when you consider he began the year as the backup.
The 21-year-old from Council Bluffs, Iowa, led the Horned Frogs to the CFP National Championship in 2022, where TCU lost to powerhouse Georgia, 65-7.
Like the title game, Duggan also finished runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams. He was just the fourth player in TCU history to be a Heisman finalist.
In December, Duggan announced he will forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.
He has begun training in southern California with quarterback trainer Jordan Palmer (brother of USC legend and 2002 Heisman winner Carson Palmer).
Since 2003, every recipient of the Davey O'Brien Award has been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft -- except for Texas QB Colt McCoy in 2009, who was taken in the third round.
"There will be teams that really like me and there will be teams that don't like me," Duggan told WFAA's Jonah Javad.
Duggan, however, is projected to go on Day 3 (Round 4-7) which would be the latest an O'Brien Award winner has been selected since Ohio State's Troy Smith in 2006.
"I understand I'm not one of the top guys and where you go in the draft isn't relatively important to me," Duggan admitted. "Being able to have an opportunity to compete. Wherever you go, it's about the right fit."
TCU has been home to some all-time greats like Sammy Baugh, Bob Lilly and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Max Duggan may not reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but what he accomplished at TCU will be remembered for decades to come.
At long last, a TCU quarterback lifts the award named after another TCU great.