FORT WORTH, Texas (July 16, 2015) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation announced the 2015 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List today, a group that includes two dozen of the nation’s top college quarterbacks.
This year’s list, which was compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2015 college football season. All nominees were required to have started at least one game at their current institution previously.
Two of the three Davey O’Brien Award finalists from 2014, TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, headline the list. Both players are back for their senior seasons. In addition, one semifinalist from a year ago, Michigan State senior Connor Cook, also returns.
Players appearing on the watch list for the second straight year include: Cook and Prescott, along with Jared Goff (California), Christian Hackenberg (Penn State), Taysom Hill (BYU), Kevin Hogan (Stanford), Chuckie Keeton (Utah State), Cody Kessler (USC) and Keenan Reynolds (Navy).
Cardale Jones, who guided Ohio State to the national championship in January, is among 15 quarterbacks on the watch list for the first time. Also included are: Boykin, Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee), Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky), Blake Frohnapfel (UMass), Jeremy Johnson (Auburn), Brad Kaaya (Miami), Gunner Kiel (Cincinnati), Fredi Knighten (Arkansas State), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), Anu Solomon (Arizona), Zach Terrell (Western Michigan), Justin Thomas (Georgia Tech), Deshaun Watson (Clemson) and Marquise Williams (North Carolina).
Nearly half (11 of 24) of the players on the watch list are seniors. Eight juniors and five sophomores round out the contingent. Among leagues, the Pac-12 Conference (4) and Atlantic Coast Conference (4) lead the way. Other conferences with multiple members on the watch list include: American Athletic (3), Big Ten (3), Southeastern (3) and Mid-American (2).
Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O’Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 128 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award. The field will be narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Nov. 2. From that list, the Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce the three finalists on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The 2015 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 10.
The 2015 season marks the ninth year that fans will be invited to participate in the voting process. The Davey O’Brien Fan Vote will be combined with the results from the Selection Committee. Voting will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
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) and Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014).
The 39th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas.
2015 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List
Trevone Boykin (TCU, Senior)
Connor Cook (Michigan State, Senior)
Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee, Junior)
Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky, Senior)
Blake Frohnapfel (UMass, Senior)
Jared Goff (California, Junior)
Christian Hackenberg (Penn State, Junior)
Taysom Hill (BYU, Senior)
Kevin Hogan (Stanford, Senior)
Jeremy Johnson (Auburn, Sophomore)
Cardale Jones* (Ohio State, Junior)
Brad Kaaya (Miami, Sophomore)
Chuckie Keeton (Utah State, Senior)
Cody Kessler (USC, Senior)
Gunner Kiel (Cincinnati, Junior)
Fredi Knighten (Arkansas State, Junior)
Paxton Lynch (Memphis, Sophomore)
Dak Prescott (Mississippi State, Senior)
Keenan Reynolds (Navy, Senior)
Anu Solomon (Arizona, Sophomore)
Zach Terrell (Western Michigan, Junior)
Justin Thomas (Georgia Tech, Junior)
Deshaun Watson (Clemson, Sophomore)
Marquise Williams (North Carolina, Senior)
* Finished last year as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. The school has not yet named a starter for the 2015 season.
By Conference: Pac-12 (4), ACC (4), AAC (3), Big Ten (3), SEC (3), MAC (2), Big 12 (1), C-USA (1), Mountain West (1), Sun Belt (1), Independents (1).
By Class: Senior (11), Junior (8), Sophomore (5).
About the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award®
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. The Davey O’Brien Award honors candidates who exemplify Davey O’Brien’s enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics. The award is overseen by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and has given away more than $900,000 in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life. For more information, visit www.DaveyOBrien.org.
About the National College Football Awards Association
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.
Beginning in 2015, The Home Depot College Football Awards will have a new home at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta. Airing live on ESPN on December 10, 2015, college football’s brightest stars will be honored for their performance on and off the field.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 22 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2015 preseason watch list calendar:
Tues., July 7: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
Wed., July 8: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
Thurs., July 9: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
Fri., July 10: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
Mon., July 13: Jim Thorpe Award
Tues., July 14: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
Wed., July 15: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
Thurs, July 16: Davey O’Brien Award / Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 17: Walter Camp Award
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American Airlines is the official travel partner of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.