FORT WORTH, Texas (July 14, 2020) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation has revealed the 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List today, a group that includes 30 of the nation’s top returning college quarterbacks.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2020 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at an NCAA Division I institution. In keeping with the changing landscape of college athletics, new transfers were eligible to be included for the first time in the award’s history.
Justin Fields of Ohio State, a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award in 2019, is among the players on the watch list. Fields is joined by seven semifinalists from last year: Baylor’s Charlie Brewer, Shane Buechele of SMU, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan, Brock Purdy of Iowa State and Memphis’ Brady White.
The remaining members of the watch list include: Hank Bachmeier of Boise State, Notre Dame’s Ian Book, Alan Bowman of Texas Tech, Wisconsin’s Jack Coan, Sean Clifford of Penn State, Kent State’s Dustin Crum, Micale Cunningham of Louisville, Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels, Dillon Gabriel of UCF, Air Force’s Donald Hammond III, Sam Howell of North Carolina, Alabama’s Mac Jones, D’Eriq King of Miami, Louisiana’s Levi Lewis, Kellen Mond of Texas A&M, Georgia’s Jamie Newman, Bo Nix of Auburn, Florida Atlantic’s Chris Robison, Spencer Sanders of Oklahoma State, USC’s Kedon Slovis, Zac Thomas of Appalachian State and Florida’s Kyle Trask.
Fourteen seniors, eight juniors and eight sophomores comprise the list. Among conferences, the SEC and Big 12 lead the way with five selections. It is the fourth straight year that the SEC has been atop the list. Other leagues with at least three members on the watch list are the Big Ten (4), ACC (4) and AAC (3). Nearly one-third of the quarterbacks are Texas products, as nine of the 30 played high school football in the state.
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 preseason watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the award. This year, players who have been honored as weekly Davey O’Brien Great 8 recipients, as well as any additional quarterbacks approved by the selection subcommittee, will be added to form the final midseason watch list on Tuesday, Oct. 20
Sixteen semifinalists selected from the final watch list will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Tuesday, Nov. 24). The 2020 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN Thursday, Dec. 10, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The 44th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas.
2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List
Hank Bachmeier, Boise State, So., 6-1, 200, Murrieta, Calif.
Ian Book, Notre Dame, Sr., 6-0, 206, El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Alan Bowman, Texas Tech, So., 6-3, 210, Grapevine, Texas
Charlie Brewer, Baylor, Sr., 6-1, 206, Austin, Texas
Shane Buechele, SMU, Sr., 6-1, 207, Arlington, Texas
Jack Coan, Wisconsin, Sr., 6-3, 221, Sayville, N.Y.
Sean Clifford, Penn State, Jr., 6-2, 219, Cincinnati, Ohio
Dustin Crum, Kent State, Sr., 6-3, 201, Grafton, Ohio
Micale Cunningham, Louisville, Jr., 6-1, 200, Montgomery, Ala.
Jayden Daniels, Arizona State, So., 6-3, 175, San Bernardino, Calif.
Sam Ehlinger, Texas, Sr., 6-3, 230, Austin, Texas
Justin Fields, Ohio State, Jr., 6-3, 228, Kennesaw, Ga.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF, So., 6-0, 186, Mililani, Hawaii
Donald Hammond III, Air Force, Sr., 6-2, 220, Hampton, Ga.
Sam Howell, North Carolina, So., 6-1 1/4, 225, Indian Trail, N.C.
Mac Jones, Alabama, Jr., 6-2, 205, Jacksonville, Fla.
D’Eriq King, Miami, Sr., 5-11, 195, Manvel, Texas
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, Jr., 6-6, 220, Cartersville, Ga.
Levi Lewis, Louisiana, Sr., 5-10, 190, Baton Rouge, La.
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, Sr., 6-3, 217, San Antonio, Texas
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota, Jr., 6-2, 215, Union, Ky.
Jamie Newman, Georgia, Sr., 6-4, 230, Graham, N.C.
Bo Nix, Auburn, So., 6-2, 207, Pinson, Ala.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State, Jr., 6-1, 212, Gilbert, Ariz.
Chris Robison, Florida Atlantic, Jr., 6-1, 200, Mesquite, Texas
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, So., 6-1, 199, Denton, Texas
Kedon Slovis, USC, So., 6-2, 200, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Zac Thomas, Appalachian State, Sr., 6-1, 210, Trussville, Ala.
Kyle Trask, Florida, Sr., 6-5, 239, Manvel, Texas
Brady White, Memphis, Sr., 6-3, 215, Santa Clarita, Calif.
By Conference: Big 12 (5), Southeastern (5), Big Ten (4), Atlantic Coast (4), American Athletic (3), Mountain West (2), Pac-12 (2), Sun Belt (2), Conference USA, Mid-American (1), Independents (1).
By Class: Senior (14), Junior (8), Sophomore (8).
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.
In 1938, TCU quarterback Davey O’Brien became the first player ever to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award in the same year. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955. O’Brien was drafted fourth overall in the 1939 NFL Draft and earned Pro Bowl honors in his rookie season after setting a National Football League record for season passing yardage. The NFL’s highest-paid player retired after the 1940 season to become an FBI agent.
Previous National Quarterback Award winners include: Jim McMahon (BYU, 1981), Todd Blackledge (Penn State, 1982), Steve Young (BYU, 1983), Doug Flutie (Boston College, 1984), Chuck Long (Iowa, 1985), Vinny Testaverde (Miami, 1986), Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1987), Troy Aikman (UCLA, 1988), Andre Ware (Houston, 1989), Ty Detmer (BYU, 1990-91), Gino Torretta (Miami, 1992), Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), Kerry Collins (Penn State, 1994), Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1995-96), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Michael Bishop (Kansas State, 1998), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech, 1999), Chris Weinke (Florida State, 2000), Eric Crouch (Nebraska, 2001), Brad Banks (Iowa, 2002), Jason White (Oklahoma, 2003-04), Vince Young (Texas, 2005), Troy Smith (Ohio State, 2006), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2008), Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Cam Newton (Auburn, 2010), Robert Griffin III (Baylor, 2011), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M, 2012), Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013), Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014), Deshaun Watson (Clemson, 2015-16), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma, 2017), Kyler Murray (Oklahoma, 2018) and Joe Burrow (LSU, 2019).