FORT WORTH, Texas – 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