FORT WORTH, Texas (July 14, 2016) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation unveiled the 2016 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List today, a group that includes 30 of the nation’s top college quarterbacks.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2016 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at their current institution.
The reigning Davey O’Brien Award winner, Deshaun Watson of Clemson, headlines the list. The junior is bidding to become the award’s first two-time winner since Oklahoma’s Jason White (2003-04). In addition, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, one of three finalists a year ago, returns for his junior season.
Other contenders include five semifinalists from 2015 – Luke Falk (Washington State), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Seth Russell (Baylor) and Greg Ward Jr. (Houston) – as well as Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, who was a semifinalist in 2014. Notable players named to the watch list for the second straight year include: Josh Dobbs of Tennessee, Miami’s Brad Kaaya, Anu Solomon of Arizona and Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell.
The remaining members of the watch list include: Tommy Armstrong Jr. (Nebraska), C.J. Beathard (Iowa), Jake Browning (Washington), Dane Evans (Tulsa), Quinton Flowers (USF), Skyler Howard (West Virginia), Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), Taylor Lamb (Appalachian State), Mitch Leidner (Minnesota), Wes Lunt (Illinois), Nick Mullens (Southern Miss), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), Cooper Rush (Central Michigan), Brett Rypien (Boise State), Brent Stockstill (Middle Tennessee) and Phillip Walker (Temple).
Nearly half (14) of the players on the watch list are seniors, while 11 juniors and five sophomores round out the contingent. Among leagues, the Big 12 Conference and Big Ten Conference lead the way with five nominees each, followed by the Pac-12 Conference and American Athletic Conference with four apiece.
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.
Sixteen semifinalists for the award will be named on Thursday, Nov. 10. From that list, the Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce the three finalists on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The 2016 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be announced live Thursday, Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The 2016 season marks the 10th year that fans will be invited to participate in the voting process on www.voteobrien.org. Results from the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote will be combined with the ballots from the Selection Committee. Fan voting, which accounts for five percent of the total balloting, will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Previous Davey O’Brien Award 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), 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 Watson (Clemson, 2015).
The 40th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.
2016 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List
Tommy Armstrong Jr. (Nebraska, Sr., Cibolo, Texas)
J.T. Barrett (Ohio State, Jr., Wichita Falls, Texas)
C.J. Beathard (Iowa, Sr., Franklin, Tenn.)
Jake Browning (Washington, So., Granite Bay, Calif.)
Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee, Sr., Alpharetta, Ga.)
Dane Evans (Tulsa, Sr., Sanger, Texas)
Luke Falk (Washington State, Jr., Logan, Utah)
Quinton Flowers (USF, Jr., Miami, Fla.)
Skyler Howard (West Virginia, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas)
Brad Kaaya (Miami, Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.)
Chad Kelly (Ole Miss, Sr., Buffalo, N.Y.)
DeShone Kizer* (Notre Dame, Jr., Toledo, Ohio)
Taylor Lamb (Appalachian State, Jr., Calhoun, Ga.)
Mitch Leidner (Minnesota, Sr., Lakeville, Minn.)
Wes Lunt (Illinois, Sr., Rochester, Ill.)
Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech, Jr., Whitehouse, Texas)
Tanner Mangum* (BYU, So., Eagle, Idaho)
Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma, Jr., Austin, Texas)
Nick Mullens (Southern Miss, Sr., Hoover, Ala.)
Josh Rosen (UCLA, So., Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State, Jr., Rock Hill, S.C.)
Cooper Rush (Central Michigan, Sr., Charlotte, Mich.)
Seth Russell (Baylor, Sr., Garland, Texas)
Brett Rypien (Boise State, So., Spokane, Wash.)
Anu Solomon (Arizona, Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.)
Brent Stockstill (Middle Tennessee, So., Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Zach Terrell (Western Michigan, Sr., Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Phillip Walker (Temple, Sr., Elizabeth, N.J.)
Greg Ward Jr. (Houston, Sr., Tyler, Texas)
Deshaun Watson (Clemson, Jr., Gainesville, Ga.)
* In accordance with Davey O’Brien Watch List guidelines, in cases where multiple quarterbacks from the same school received consideration and the school has not yet named a starter for the upcoming season, the player who finished the last year as the school’s starting quarterback is named to the watch list.
By Conference: Big 12 (5), Big Ten (5), Pac-12 (4), AAC (4), ACC (2), C-USA (2), Independents (2), MAC (2), SEC (2), Mountain West (1), Sun Belt (1).
By Class: Senior (14), Junior (11), 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 nearly $1 million 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 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen 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 2016 preseason watch list calendar:
Tues., July 5: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
Wed., July 6: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
Thurs., July 7: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
Fri., July 8: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
Mon., July 11: Jim Thorpe Award
Tues., July 12: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
Wed., July 13: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
Thurs, July 14: Davey O’Brien Award / Doak Walker Award
Fri., July 15: Walter Camp Award / Paul Hornung Award
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American Airlines is the official travel partner of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.