Watson named to 2015 Davey O'Brien Award List
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 WatsonDeshaun Watson
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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).