FORT WORTH, Texas (Dec. 7, 2020) – After tabulating the results of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee’s ballots as well as social media fan votes courtesy of the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote, the semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award have been selected.
In alphabetical order, the semifinalists include Notre Dame’s Ian Book, Matt Corral of Ole Miss, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Justin Fields of Ohio State, UCF’s Dillon Gabriel, Sam Howell of North Carolina, Alabama’s Mac Jones, D’Eriq King of Miami, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Grayson McCall of Coastal Carolina, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Michael Penix Jr. of Indiana, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Kyle Trask of Florida and BYU’s Zach Wilson.
In all, 17 players received the honor, while 16 will be eligible to be named finalists. Penix was voted a semifinalist but will not be eligible for finalist honors due to a season-ending injury. Per Foundation protocols, the next highest vote getter was added to the semifinalist contingent.
Six of the quarterbacks – Book (2018), Ehlinger (2019), Fields (2019), King (2018), Lawrence (2018, 2019) and Purdy (2019) – have previously been Davey O’Brien Award semifinalists. Fields ultimately earned finalist accolades a year ago.
The semifinalist list consists of players from six FBS conferences as well as one football independent. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference tied for the most honorees with four apiece. The list is made up of five seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, first issued in 1981, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious quarterback award. The Foundation’s national selection committee is comprised of journalists, broadcasters, commentators and former winners.
The Davey O’Brien Fan Vote instituted a change to its format in 2020, as fans voted for their favorite quarterback’s post from the Davey O’Brien official accounts via three social media platforms—Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The top five vote getters on those platforms each received bonus committee member votes. Those vote recipients included Book, Gabriel, Rattler, Wilson and McCall on Instagram; Trask, Wilson, Rattler, Book and Purdy on Twitter; and Trask, Jones, Wilson, Grant Wells (Marshall) and Gabriel on Facebook.
The next step in the process will be to select the award’s three finalists from these 16 quarterbacks. Round two fan voting is now open and will close on Sunday, Dec. 20. National selection committee voting will take place from Dec. 16-20.
The three finalists will be named on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The winner is to be announced live on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, on the 30th annual The Home Depot College Football Awards, which will be held virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.
Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalists
Ian Book, Notre Dame, Sr., 6-0, 206, El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Matt Corral, Ole Miss, So., 6-1, 205, Ventura, Calif.
Sam Ehlinger, Texas, Sr., 6-3, 225, Austin, Texas
Justin Fields, Ohio State, Jr., 6-3, 228, Kennesaw, Ga.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF, So., 6-0, 186, Mililani, Hawaii
Sam Howell, North Carolina, So., 6-1, 225, Indian Trail, N.C.
Mac Jones, Alabama, Jr., 6-3, 214, Jacksonville, Fla.
D’Eriq King, Miami, Sr., 5-11, 202, Manvel, Texas
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, Jr., 6-6, 220, Cartersville, Ga.
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina, Fr., 6-3, 200, Indian Trail, N.C.
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, Sr., 6-3, 217, San Antonio, Texas
*Michael Penix Jr., Indiana, So., 6-3, 218, Tampa, Fla.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State, Jr., 6-1, 212, Gilbert, Ariz.
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma, Fr., 6-1, 205, Phoenix, Ariz.
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati, Jr., 6-4, 215, Louisville, Ky.
Kyle Trask, Florida, Sr., 6-5, 240, Manvel, Texas
Zach Wilson, BYU, Jr., 6-3, 210, Draper, Utah
*Semifinalist honoree but not eligible for finalist voting due to season-ending injury.
Davey O’Brien Foundation
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 $1.2 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 was 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.
Past 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), Deshaun Watson (Clemson, 2015-16), Baker Mayfield (2017), Kyler Murray (2018) and Joe Burrow (2019).
National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA)
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. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.