RENO, Nev. – Nevada junior Cody Fajardo earned a spot on a fifth preseason watch list on Friday when he was one of 30 named Friday to the Watch List for the Manning Award.
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 includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. This year’s list of quarterbacks was selected in conjunction with the release of ESPN’s new Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) – the top 30 returning quarterbacks according to the QBR make up the Watch List. The winner will still be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
A second team All-Mountain West selection in 2012, Fajardo has accounted for 6,308 yards of total offense so far in two seasons at Nevada. Last year, Fajardo threw for 2,786 yards and 20 touchdowns with just nine interceptions while rushing for 1,121 yards and 12 more scores.
This is the fourth watch list for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback. He has previously been named to the watch lists for the Hornung Award (most versatile player), Maxwell Award (player of the year), Davey O’Brien Award (top national quarterback), and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was named by The Heisman Pundit as a Hesiman Trophy contender earlier this year.
“This is always an exciting time of year for college football players, coaches and fans,” said Archie Manning. “ESPN has come up with an interesting new statistical measure of quarterbacks so we decided to use the QBR to determine our Watch List, but we want to remind everyone that every quarterback in the country remains eligible to win this honor and we’re looking forward to seeing how things play out on the field.”
Total QBR measures a quarterback’s contributions to scoring on each play (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, and penalties) accounting for game context (down, distance, yard line, time remaining, and score) and adjusted for opponent strength. It is based on a 0-100 scale and 50 is average.
This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The Mountain West Conference leads the way with six honorees, while the Southeastern Conference has five quarterbacks on the list and the Pac-12 adds four.
Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8.