FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 21, 2016) – Louisville sophomore Lamar Jackson, Oklahoma junior Baker Mayfield and Clemson junior Deshaun Watson have been selected as the three finalists for the 2016 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the Davey O’Brien Foundation has announced.
After totaling the ballots from the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee as well as fan votes recorded over the past two weeks at VoteOBrien.org, the 16 semifinalists were narrowed down to the trio of signal callers. They will be featured on ESPNU’s The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special Tuesday at 3 p.m. (ET)/2 p.m. (CT).
Watson, the 2015 Davey O’Brien Award winner, and Mayfield are finalists for the second straight year. Jackson is among the final three for the first time.
The three members of the group earned Davey O’Brien “Great 8” weekly honors a total of 14 times this season. They also combined to collect five of the season’s 11 National Quarterback of the Week accolades from the foundation.
On the year, Jackson is 204-for-357 passing for 3,109 yards and 28 touchdowns with six interceptions. He also has rushed 209 times for 1,367 yards and 19 scores. He nabbed Davey O’Brien “Great 8” weekly honors eight times this season, and was named National Quarterback of the Week on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20.
Jackson leads the nation in points responsible for (284), ranks second in total offense per game (406.9) and total quarterback rating (88.0) and is third in rushing touchdowns (19). The native of Boynton Beach, Fla., also is listed among NCAA leaders in scoring (7th, 114), rushing yards (8th, 1,367), passing touchdowns (T-8th, 28), passing yards (13th, 3,109) and passing efficiency (16th, 152.8).
Jackson has guided Louisville, which is ranked No. 11 in both the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches’ Poll, to a 9-2 record. Jackson is the Cardinals’ first-ever award finalist.
Mayfield has competed 222 of 311 pass attempts for 3,381 yards and 35 touchdowns with eight interceptions. In addition, he has gained 138 yards on the ground with six rushing scores. The Austin, Texas, product earned Davey O’Brien “Great 8” weekly honors three times this season, and was named National Quarterback of the Week on Oct. 25.
He leads the country in passing efficiency (194.7) and total quarterback rating (91.2), while ranking second in completion percentage (.714) and third in points responsible for (250). Mayfield also is among the nation’s best in passing touchdowns (T-4th, 35), passing yards (7th, 3,381) and total offense per game (15th, 319.9).
Mayfield has helped 9-2 Oklahoma to eight straight wins and No. 7 rankings by both the media and the coaches. He is attempting to join Jason White (2003, 2004) and Sam Bradford (2008) as Sooners who have won the Davey O’Brien Award.
Watson has connected on 279 of 420 passes for 3,279 yards and 28 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. On the ground, he has gained 442 yards and scored four touchdowns on 108 carries. He grabbed Davey O’Brien “Great 8” weekly honors three times this season, and was named National Quarterback of the Week on Oct. 4 and Nov. 1.
Watson is among the FBS leaders in total offense per game (8th, 336.7), passing touchdowns (T-8th, 28), passing yards (9th, 3,279), points responsible for (12th, 196), total quarterback rating (13th, 79.4) and completion percentage (13th, .664).
Clemson is 10-1 on the year and is ranked third in the Coaches’ Poll and fourth in the Associated Press Top 25. Last year, he became the Tigers’ first-ever Davey O’Brien Award winner and is looking to become the award’s first two-time winner since Oklahoma’s White (2003-04).
The other semifinalist contenders were: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Jerod Evans (Virginia Tech), Luke Falk (Washington State), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), Wilton Speight (Michigan), Zach Terrell (Western Michigan), Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina), Greg Ward Jr. (Houston), and Davis Webb (California).
Jackson and Watson play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which marks the second straight year that one conference has had two finalists. In 2015, the Big 12 featured Mayfield and TCU’s Trevone Boykin.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the best college quarterback, and is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award.
The Davey O’Brien Fan Vote counts as five percent during each round of the voting process, and is combined with the results from the foundation’s national selection committee, which is comprised of journalists, broadcasters, commentators and former winners.
After clearing the first round totals, the fan vote at VoteOBrien.org will reopen today (Nov. 21) and remain open until noon (CT) on Sunday, Dec. 4, for the final round of balloting. Fans are invited to cast their vote for the nation’s best college quarterback as often as once daily per email address.
The 2016 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards Thursday, Dec. 8. All three finalists will attend the festivities that day in Atlanta, Ga.
Previous winners include: Jim McMahon (BYU, 1981), Todd Blackledge (Penn State, 1982), Steve Young (BYU, 1983), Doug Flutie (Boston College, 1984), Chuck Long (Iowa, 1985), Vinny Testaverde (Miami, 1986), Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1987), Troy Aikman (UCLA, 1988), Andre Ware (Houston, 1989), Ty Detmer (BYU, 1990-91), Gino Torretta (Miami, 1992), Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), Kerry Collins (Penn State, 1994), Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1995-96), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Michael Bishop (Kansas State, 1998), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech, 1999), Chris Weinke (Florida State, 2000), Eric Crouch (Nebraska, 2001), Brad Banks (Iowa, 2002), Jason White (Oklahoma, 2003-04), Vince Young (Texas, 2005), Troy Smith (Ohio State, 2006), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2008), Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Cam Newton (Auburn, 2010), Robert Griffin III (Baylor, 2011), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M, 2012), Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013), Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) and Deshaun Watson (Clemson, 2015).
The 40th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
2016 Davey O’Brien Award Finalists
Lamar Jackson, Louisville, So., 6-3, 205, Boynton Beach, Fla.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, Jr., 6-1, 212, Austin, Texas
Deshaun Watson, Clemson, Jr., 6-3, 215, Gainesville, Ga.