Texas A&M’s Manziel seeks to become first repeat Manning Award winner

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NEW ORLEANS – Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel will be seeking to become the first repeat winner of the Manning Award, which released its preseason “watch list” on Friday.

Manziel, from Kerrville, Texas, won the 2012 Manning Award after a record-breaking freshman campaign. In addition to the Manning Award, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award and was named The Associated Press College Player of the Year. While helping lead the Aggies to an 11-2 record and final No. 5 national ranking, Manziel generated a Southeastern Conference and NCAA freshman record 5,116 yards, passing for 3,706 yards and rushing for 1,410 yards.

The watch list for the 2013 Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, 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. Manziel led the nation in total QBR last season with a 90.5 rating, just ahead of Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (87.3), Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (82.2) and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron (81.1)

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 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.

“Total QBR uses all of a quarterback’s plays and accounts for the context of the game and quality of the defenses faced,” said ESPN Stats & Information Sr. Director Jeff Bennett. “We are excited to bring a more complete rating system to the fans to allow for fairer comparisons of quarterbacks who play in different types of systems and face various levels of competition. We’re pleased that a national award like the Manning Award has seen the value of our new Total QBR for college.”

“College football has needed this for a long time,” said ESPN College Football Analyst Brad Edwards. “Finally, we have a way to measure the performance of a dual-threat QB against that of a pure passer. I only wish we could go back in time and use it to see the full impact of guys like Archie Manning, John Elway and Tommie Frazier.”

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.

2013-14 Manning Award Watch List
Name Cl. School QBR
David Ash Jr. TEXAS 77.2
Blake Bortles Jr. UCF 72.9
Tajh Boyd Sr. CLEMSON 82.2
Teddy Bridgewater Jr. LOUISVILLE 78.1
Terrance Broadway Jr. UL-LAFAYETTE 76.9
Kolton Browning Sr. UL- MONROE 68.6
Derek Carr Sr. FRESNO ST 64.1
Rakeem Cato Jr. MARSHALL 68.8
Kain Colter Sr. NORTHWESTERN 65.3
Cody Fajardo Jr. NEVADA 75.6
David Fales Sr. SAN JOSE STATE 78.4
Brett Hundley So. UCLA 68.8
Chuckie Keeton Jr. UTAH STATE 76.4
Taylor Kelly Jr. ARIZONA STATE 65.7
Logan Kilgore Sr. MIDDLE TENN ST 60.3
Jordan Lynch Sr. NORTHERN ILLINOIS 74.7
Sean Mannion Jr. OREGON STATE 62.5
Johnny Manziel So. TEXAS A&M 90.5
Marcus Mariota So. OREGON 87.3
Taylor Martinez Sr. NEBRASKA 70.4
A.J. McCarron Jr. ALABAMA 81.1
Braxton Miller Jr. OHIO STATE 68.4
Stephen Morris Sr. MIAMI FLORIDA 59.6
Aaron Murray Sr. GEORGIA 78.4
Bryn Renner Sr. NORTH CAROLINA 63.6
Connor Shaw Sr. SOUTH CAROLINA 64.6
Brett Smith Jr. WYOMING 74.6
Joe Southwick Sr. BOISE STATE 68.9
Eric Soza Sr. UTSA 62.3
Bo Wallace Jr. OLE MISS 60.0

“We have had the opportunity to recognize nine 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.”

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.

The Manning Award will be recognizing its 10th winner this year. 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. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. The 2012 honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins).

ESPN will release the Total QBR for all quarterbacks over the past nine seasons prior to the start of the 2013 schedule.

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