FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 26, 2020) — The Davey O’Brien Foundation has announced the eight quarterbacks on the Week 8 Davey O’Brien Great 8 list. The eight quarterbacks led their teams to a total of 376 points (47.0 per game) and an average victory margin of 27 points.
The quarterbacks on this week’s Great 8 list include: Notre Dame’s Ian Book, Justin Fields of Ohio State, UCF’s Dillon Gabriel, Graham Mertz of Wisconsin, Middle Tennessee’s Asher O’Hara, Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati, Appalachian State’s Zac Thomas and Malik Willis of Liberty. With five of the eight being first-time Great 8 honorees this season (Fields, Mertz, O’Hara, Ridder and Thomas), 40 different quarterbacks have now received the accolade in 2020.
In 2020, any player named to a Great 8 list during the season who was not previously named to the Preseason Watch List will be added to the Midseason Watch List and will be eligible for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Following the additions of Mertz, O’Hara and Ridder, 52 players now comprise the list.
The Davey O’Brien Foundation was created in 1977, and the National Quarterback Award, the oldest and most prestigious college quarterback award, was first issued in 1981. Over its time, the Davey O’Brien Foundation has given away more than $1 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life.
In 1938, O’Brien, who wore No. 8 as a star quarterback for TCU, became the first player ever to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award in the same year. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955. For more information, visit www.DaveyOBrien.org.
Ian Book, Notre Dame, Sr., 6-0, 206, El Dorado Hills, Calif.
- Threw for 312 yards, averaging 19.5 yards per completion, and three touchdowns, while tacking on 40 rushing yards on eight carries in a 45-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
Justin Fields, Ohio State, Jr., 6-3, 228, Kennesaw, Ga.
- Had more touchdown passes (2) than incompletions (1), going 20-of-21 for 276 yards, and rushed 15 times for 54 yards and a score in a 52-17 win over Nebraska.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF, So., 6-0, 186, Mililani, Hawaii
- Topped the 400-yard mark for the fourth time in five games, completing 26 of 40 attempts for 422 yards and five touchdowns, as UCF defeated Tulane, 51-34.
*Graham Mertz, Wisconsin, Fr., 6-3, 215, Overland Park, Kan.
- Set a school record for completion percentage (95.2) in his collegiate debut by connecting on 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five TDs in a 45-7 win over Illinois.
*Asher O’Hara, Middle Tennessee, Jr., 6-0, 185, Rolling Meadows, Ill.
- Had four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing), including the game winner in overtime, and 402 total yards (333 passing, 69 rushing) in a 40-34 victory over Rice.
*Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati, Jr., 6-4, 215, Louisville, Ky.
- Led the Bearcats to a 42-13 win over No. 16 SMU by rushing for 179 yards and three scores on just eight carries, and going 13-for-21 for 126 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Zac Thomas, Appalachian State, Sr., 6-1, 210, Trussville, Ala.
- Was 16-for-23 passing for 216 yards and four touchdowns and rushed seven times for 82 yards and another TD as Appalachian State downed Arkansas State, 45-17.
Malik Willis, Liberty, Jr., 6-1, 215, Atlanta, Ga.
- Amassed seven total touchdowns (six passing, one rushing) and 442 yards of offense (345 passing, 97 rushing) in a 56-35 triumph over Southern Miss.
*Added to 2020 Davey O’Brien Midseason Watch List