Kaepernick a Finalist for Unitas Award

BALTIMORE, MD (11/22/10) --- The annual competition to select the top senior college quarterback in the nation has been narrowed from an original field of 22 to five finalists for the 2010 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Named after the man called by many the greatest quarterback ever to play football, the prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually to the nation’s top senior college quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica, a leading provider of innovative business and personal financial services (www.transamerica.com).

The remaining candidates for the 2009 Golden Arm Award are –

Andy Dalton, TCU, who has led the Horned Frogs to an 11-0 record, passing for 23 touchdowns and amassing nearly 2,500 yards while compiling a QB efficiency rating of 163.9;

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, who has completed 166 of 247 passes for 17 TDs and a 67.2 completion percentage;

Christian Ponder, Florida State, who has 16 touchdowns and 1,647 yards in just nine games for the Seminoles;

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, who has posted an 18-4 record as a starting quarterback over past two seasons and ranks sixth in Hawkeye history in career passing yards (4,373) and passing TDs (31);

Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin, who holds school records for career completion percentage at .675 and career QB efficiency rating of 150.0 and ranks sixth all-time at Wisconsin with 28 career passing touchdowns, 4,681 passing yards, and 369 career completions.

The 2010 winner will be presented with the Golden Arm Award on Friday, December 10 at the Tremont Grand Meeting & Banquet Facility in Downtown Baltimore. Joining the evening’s festivities will be a number of former Baltimore Colts teammates of Johnny Unitas, along with the standout center who snapped the ball to legendary quarterbacks Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas, Georgia State University Football Coach Bill Curry

Since 1987, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has been presented to some of college football’s greatest quarterbacks, many of whom have gone on to illustrious careers in the NFL. Former winners include Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).

“When you consider how many great college QBs have won the Golden Arm Award and have gone on to play in the NFL, it is clear that this award has become a significant barometer for future success in the professional ranks,” says John C. Unitas, Jr., President of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history which has earned him the recognition of being the greatest quarterback to ever play in the National Football League. An 18-year veteran of the NFL, Unitas played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville (1951-1954), passing for 3007 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Unitas began his pro career with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and played there 17 years until joining the San Diego Chargers for his final season. His career passing figures include completing 2,830 of 5,186 passes for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns. Among his many records is one that may stand forever, throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Unitas was selected as the top quarterback of all-time by the Pro Football Hall of Fame 36-member selection committee. In commemorating the NFL’s 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries, he was honored as the GREATEST QUARTERBACK OF ALL TIME. Unitas was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Proceeds from the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.

In addition to Transamerica, sponsors of the event include: MedStar Union Memorial Sports Medicine, Dunbar Armored, Baltimore’s Tremonts Hotels, HMS Insurance Associates, Inc., Wells Fargo Private Bank, Stanley Black & Decker, Century Engineering, Comcast, The Baltimore Sun Media Group, GEICO, R2i.ntegrated, Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, and Weiss PR Associates, Inc.

For more information, visit www.goldenarmfoundation.com.