FORT WORTH, Texas – The Davey O’Brien Foundation revealed the 2018 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List today, a group that includes 26 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 2018 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at their current institution. In addition, any player who was a finalist or semifinalist the previous year is automatically included.
A pair of two-time semifinalists, Jake Browning of Washington and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, are among the players named to the list. Other previous semifinalists, all from 2017, include: Kelly Bryant of Clemson, Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald, Will Grier of West Virginia, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, McKenzie Milton of UCF and Arizona’s Khalil Tate.
The remaining members of the watch list include: Jake Bentley (South Carolina), Mason Fine (North Texas), Ryan Finley (NC State), Andrew Ford (UMass), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Justice Hansen (Arkansas State), Justin Herbert (Oregon), Alex Hornibrook (Wisconsin), Tyree Jackson (Buffalo), Daniel Jones (Duke), Kyle Kempt (Iowa State), Brian Lewerke (Michigan State), Drew Lock (Missouri), Nathan Rourke (Ohio), Brett Rypien (Boise State), Jarrett Stidham (Auburn), Brent Stockstill (Middle Tennessee) and Manny Wilkins (Arizona State).
Thirteen seniors, 12 juniors and one sophomore comprise the list. Among leagues, the Southeastern Conference leads the way for the second straight season with a half-dozen selections. Six other conferences had multiple players named.
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. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the award. Quarterbacks from all 130 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible.
Sixteen semifinalists for the award will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 6. From that list, the Foundation will announce the three finalists on Monday, Nov. 19. The 2018 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live Thursday, Dec. 6, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The 2018 season marks the 12th year that fans will be invited to participate in the voting process on 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. 4.
The 42nd Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas.
2018 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List
Jake Bentley, South Carolina, (Jr., Opelika, Ala.)
Jake Browning, Washington (Sr., Folsom, Calif.)
Kelly Bryant, Clemson (Sr., Calhoun Falls, S.C.)
Mason Fine, North Texas (Jr., Peggs, Okla.)
Ryan Finley, NC State (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.)
Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (Sr., Richmond Hill, Ga.)
Andrew Ford, UMass (Sr., Camp Hill, Penn.)
Jake Fromm, Georgia (So., Warner Robins, Ga.)
Will Grier, West Virginia (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.)
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)
Justin Herbert, Oregon (Jr., Eugene, Ore.)
Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin (Jr., West Chester, Penn.)
Manny Wilkins, Arizona State (Sr., Novato, Calif.)
By Conference:SEC (6), Pac-12 (4), Big Ten (3), ACC (3), Big 12 (2), C-USA (2), MAC (2), AAC (1), MWC (1), Sun Belt (1), Independent (1).
By Class: Senior (13), Junior (12), Sophomore (1).
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 $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.