RENO - The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 2009 preseason Watch List on Monday. The list includes 38 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2009 season. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a February banquet in New Orleans.
The Watch List included Nevada junior Colin Kaepernick, the 2008 WAC Offensive Player of the Year and the 2009 WAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Kaepernick (Turlock, Calif.) threw for 2,849 yards and 22 touchdowns while running for 1,130 yards and 17 more TDs in 2008.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
Florida's Tim Tebow will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the honor after collecting it last season. He is joined by Oklahoma's Sam Bradford to give the award two Heisman Trophy winners on the Watch List. Each of the 11 FBS conferences is represented on the Watch List with at least two candidates while the Big 12 leads the way with seven Watch List selections. In addition, Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards becomes the first player from an FCS school to be recognized on the preseason Manning list.
"We have another great class of quarterbacks this season," said Archie Manning. "We have 38 quarterbacks on our Watch List, but there are any number of other guys who could step into the picture as the season gets going. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch another tremendous college football season."
"We have had the opportunity to recognize five outstanding quarterbacks with the Manning Award," said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO. "It is truly a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor this award and we wish the best of luck to every quarterback and team in the country for another great year of college football."
While the preseason Watch List includes just 38 quarterbacks, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible for the honor. Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. Ten finalists will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings. That list will be released on Monday, Nov. 30. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 14.
The first four winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who's Who list at the quarterback position. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.
2009 Manning Award Watch List
Austen Arnaud (Jr., Iowa State)
Sam Bradford (Jr., Oklahoma)
Levi Brown (Sr., Troy)
Darryll Clark (Sr., Penn State)
Jimmy Clausen (Jr., Notre Dame)
Andy Dalton (Sr., TCU)
Austin Davis (So., Southern Miss)
Armanti Edwards (Sr., Appalachian State)
Robert Griffin III (So., Baylor)
Matt Grothe (Sr., USF)
Max Hall (Sr., BYU)
Tim Hiller (Sr., Western Michigan)
Jerrod Johnson (Jr., Texas A&M)
Colin Kaepernick (Jr., Nevada)
Case Keenum (Jr., Houston)
Dan LeFevour (Sr., Central Michigan)
Corey Leonard (Sr., Arkansas State)
Thaddeus Lewis (Sr., Duke)
Ryan Lindley (So., San Diego State)
Jake Locker (Jr., Washington)
Jeremiah Masoli (Jr., Oregon)
Colt McCoy (Sr., Texas)
Kellen Moore (So., Boise State)
Tony Pike (Sr., Cincinnati)
Terrelle Prior (So., Ohio State)
Todd Reesing (Sr., Kansas)
Zac Robinson (Sr., Oklahoma State)
Tyler Sheehan (Sr., Bowling Green)
Riley Skinner (Sr., Wake Forest)
Rusty Smith (Sr., Florida Atlantic)
Jevan Snead (Jr., Ole Miss)
Ricky Stanzi (Jr., Iowa)
Tim Tebow (Sr., Florida)
Trevor Vittatoe (Jr., UTEP)
Adam Weber (Jr., Minnesota)
Juice Williams (Sr., Illinois)
Russell Wilson (So., N.C. State)
T.J. Yates (Jr., North Carolina)