Max Duggan, Heisman Finalist, Excelled In Track In Iowa

* Max Duggan speaks at the lectern before the Heisman Trophy award ceremony

Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

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Max Duggan will enter the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl on Saturday with the weight of an entire program on his shoulders.

But regardless of the eventual outcome, his season has been one for the ages. 

He earned a Heisman candidacy that exceeded anyone's expectations, gobbled up all kinds of statistical bests and now has a potential date in the national college football championship within reach, if only Texas Christian University can somehow pull off the upset over No. 2 ranked Michigan. 

Can this Iowa native, the son of a football coach and a track mother, reach the pinnacle of college football? 

We'll certainly be watching.  

His story to get to this point, as profiled by Yahoo! Sports, is something out of an inspirational sports movie. Benched to begin the season, Duggan grabbed the QB1 role after an injury to the team's starter in Game 1 and never looked back.

The 6-foot-2 and 210 pound quarterback passed for over 3,300 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for 404 yards and six more TDs, earning an 80 QBR rating. He didn't win the Heisman, but he was named as a finalist to the coveted college football award.

How did he get to this point? 

Duggan grew up the son of a football coach, spending years on the sidelines as the water boy for Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa, before his own ascent into high school lore.

However, his mother instilled his interest in track and field. 

Debra was named to the University of South Dakota's Hall of Honor in 2008 after an illustrious career in the mid 80s that saw her scored indoor 55m titles and compete at NCAA Indoor Nationals. 

Her speed rubbed off.

Before finding great success in the 200m, Duggan competed in the high jump, 110mH, 400mH and 400m. His final year saw him focus on the 100m and 200m. 

* TCU quarterback Max Duggan splits away from Kansas State defenders

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

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He actually owns the 13th-fastest all conditions 200 meter time in Iowa history.

Duggan ran a time of 21.65 seconds in 2018 at his IHSAA District 4A Championship, finishing second to Ardell Inlay

That performance granted him a date at the state championships, where he would then go on to finish fourth in 22.02 (+1.6) seconds. The effort, the fastest wind-legal time of his career, ranks No. 39 in Iowa history. 

Duggan also ran times of 11.23 and 11.28 in the 100m over his senior year and went 11.19, 11.20 and 11.35 his junior season.

His best performance, that recorded time of 11.19 from a Council Bluff Relays meet -- which was FAT -- ranks just inside the top 500 efforts in state history. 

* Duggan, in lane 7, finishes fourth in the IHSAA Class 4A state final in 2018