NEW ORLEANS – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its preseason Watch List on Wednesday. The list includes 30 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2020 season. The winner will again be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
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.
“It sure has been a unique offseason, but we’re still looking forward to the prospect of seeing a great group of quarterbacks compete this year,” Archie Manning said. “Our Watch List is once again an exceptional group of candidates, but every year is a new year and we’ll be watching closely to add the best newcomers to the list after we get things rolling. I’d also like to thank the Allstate Sugar Bowl for sponsoring this award; it means a lot to the entire Manning family that they include our name in recognizing the best quarterbacks in the country.”
Inclusion on the Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List during the season. Ten finalists will be selected prior to the postseason and the winner will be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
“The Sugar Bowl has considered it a great honor to sponsor the Manning Award for the past 16 years,” said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Jeff Hundley. “We all look forward to watching these young men perform during a season that’s likely to be like none other for many reasons. At the end, the Committee will be ready and privileged to recognize one of them as the Manning Award winner.”
This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The AAC, Big 12 and Big Ten lead the way with four selections, while the ACC, C-USA, the Pac-12 and the SEC each have three selections. There are 13 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has six.
Five of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s Watch List: Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Tanner Morgan (Minnesota), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Brady White (Memphis).
2020 Manning Award Preseason Watch List (2019 stats)
|Name, Cl., School||Cmp-Att||Pct.||Yards||TDs||INT||QBR||Rushing|
|Jack Abraham, Jr., Southern Miss||275-405||.679||3,496||19||15||64.1||6 TDs|
|Holton Ahlers, Jr., East Carolina||264-442||.597||3,387||21||10||57.8||359 yds, 6 TDs|
|Ian Book, Sr., Notre Dame||240-399||.602||3,034||34||6||76.3||546 yds, 4 TDs|
|Charlie Brewer, Sr., Baylor||251-389||.645||3,161||21||7||69.2||344 yds, 11 TDs|
|Shane Buechele, Sr., SMU||307-490||.627||3,929||34||10||72.5||105 yds, 2 TDs|
|Sean Clifford, Jr., Penn State||189-319||.592||2,654||23||7||76.8||402 yds, 5 TDs|
|Jack Coan, Sr., Wisconsin||236-339||.696||2,727||18||5||82.0||4 TDs|
|Dustin Crum, Sr., Kent State||216-312||.692||2,622||20||2||73.7||707 yds, 6 TDs|
|Micale Cunningham, Jr., Louisville||112-179||.626||2,065||22||5||83.9||482 yds, 6 TDs|
|Jayden Daniels, So., Arizona State||205-338||.607||2,943||17||2||64.4||355 yds, 3 TDs|
|Sam Ehlinger, Sr., Texas||296-454||.652||3,663||32||10||77.6||663 yds, 7 TDs|
|Justin Fields, Jr., Ohio State||238-354||.672||3,273||41||3||92.1||484 yds, 10 TDs|
|Dillon Gabriel, So., UCF||236-398||.593||3,653||29||7||68.0||4 TDs|
|Sam Howell, So., North Carolina||259-422||.614||3,641||38||7||72.3||NA|
|Trey Lance, So., North Dakota State||192-287||.669||2,786||28||0||—||1,100 yds, 14 TDs|
|Trevor Lawrence, Jr., Clemson||268-407||.658||3,665||36||8||87.3||563 yds, 9 TDs|
|Levi Lewis, Sr., Louisiana||243-378||.643||3,050||26||4||72.5||195 yds, 3 TDs|
|Kellen Mond, Sr., Texas A&M||258-419||.616||2,897||20||9||73.5||500 yds, 8 TDs|
|Tanner Morgan, Jr., Minnesota||210-318||.660||3,253||30||7||84.2||NA|
|Bo Nix, So., Auburn||217-377||.576||2,542||16||6||63.8||313 yds, 7 TDs|
|Drew Plitt, Sr., Ball State||238-370||.643||2,918||24||7||55.3||171 yds, 5 TDs|
|Brock Purdy, Jr., Iowa State||312-475||.657||3,982||27||9||71.2||249 yds, 8 TDs|
|Chris Reynolds, Jr., Charlotte||181-291||.622||2,564||22||11||67.3||767 yds, 6 TDs|
|Chris Robison, Jr., FAU||291-471||.618||3,701||28||6||58.8||2 TDs|
|Kedon Slovis, So., USC||282-392||.719||3,502||30||9||81.1||NA|
|Zac Thomas, Sr., Appalachian State||225-359||.627||2,718||28||6||69.0||440 yds, 7 TDs|
|Skylar Thompson, Sr. Kansas State||177-297||.596||2,315||12||5||70.2||405 yds, 11 TDs|
|Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Jr., UCLA||216-362||.597||2,701||21||12||56.6||198 yds, 4 TDs|
|Kyle Trask, Sr., Florida||237-354||.669||2,941||25||7||81.3||4 TDs|
|Brady White, Sr., Memphis||269-420||.640||4,014||33||11||74.3||4 TDs|
In its first 16 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) and the Southeastern Conference (Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) lead the way with five Manning Award honorees each, while and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell) joins Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) as the only schools with two different winners.
Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Thirteen of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Burrow, Griffin III, Marcus Mariota, Mayfield, Murray, Ryan, Watson (twice) and Winston. On the other hand, Manziel, Murray, Newton, Watson (in 2015) and Young were all 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.
Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Eleven of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons – Burrow’s 65 touchdowns (60 passing, five rushing) broke Mariota’s record (58 in 2014) for touchdowns by a Manning Award winner.
One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes account of the quarterbacks’ bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Thirteen of the 16 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor. Eleven Manning Award honorees led their teams to the CFP Semifinals or a BCS Championship game appearance (Burrow, Matt Leinart, Mariota, Mayfield, McCoy, Murray, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Young). Seven won national championships (Burrow, Leinart, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Young).
Previous Manning Award winners have also factored prominently in the NFL Draft as they all heard their names called on Draft Day. Six honorees were selected No. 1 overall (Burrow, Mayfield, Murray, Newton, Russell and Winston), while four others went No. 2 or No. 3 (Griffin, Mariota, Ryan and Young).
All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.
In addition to the Manning Award’s yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week. Seventy-one players from 65 different schools were honored during the 2019 season and 377 different quarterbacks from 127 schools have been recognized since 2011.