MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University redshirt senior quarterback Will Grier was one of 26 quarterbacks to be named to the 2018 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List on Tuesday, as announced by the Davey O’Brien Foundation.
Grier, the 2018 Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, completed 250-of-388 passes for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns, the second-most in school history, before sustaining a season-ending hand injury in the first quarter of his 11th start of the year against Texas. He was named the 2017 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and earned All-Big 12 status.
Grier threw for 300 or more yards in a school-record nine games last season. He also recorded multiple touchdowns in 10 games and set a school record by throwing five touchdowns in back-to-back games against Texas Tech and at Baylor.
The consensus preseason All-America selection also was named one of 169 nominees for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team on Tuesday.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2018 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at their current institution. In addition, any player who was a finalist or semifinalist the previous year is automatically included.
A pair of two-time semifinalists, Jake Browning of Washington and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, are among the players named to the list. Other previous semifinalists, all from 2017, include Grier, Kelly Bryant of Clemson, Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald, Penn State’s Trace McSorley, UCF’s McKenzie Milton and Arizona’s Khalil Tate.
The remaining members of the watch list include Jake Bentley (South Carolina), Mason Fine (North Texas), Ryan Finley (NC State), Andrew Ford (UMass), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Justice Hansen (Arkansas State), Justin Herbert (Oregon), Alex Hornibrook (Wisconsin), Tyree Jackson (Buffalo), Daniel Jones (Duke), Kyle Kempt (Iowa State), Brian Lewerke (Michigan State), Drew Lock (Missouri), Nathan Rourke (Ohio), Brett Rypien (Boise State), Jarrett Stidham (Auburn), Brent Stockstill (Middle Tennessee) and Manny Wilkins (Arizona State).
Thirteen seniors, 12 juniors and one sophomore comprise the list. Among leagues, the Southeastern Conference leads the way for the second straight season with a half-dozen selections. Six other conferences had multiple players named.
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 watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the award. Quarterbacks from all 130 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible.
Sixteen semifinalists for the award will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 6. From that list, the Foundation will announce the three finalists on Monday, Nov. 19. The 2018 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live Thursday, Dec. 6, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The 2018 season marks the 12th year that fans will be invited to participate in the voting process on VoteOBrien.org. Results from the Davey O’Brien fan vote will be combined with the ballots from the selection committee. Fan voting, which accounts for five percent of the total balloting, will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The 42nd Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas.
2018 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List
Jake Bentley, South Carolina, (Jr., Opelika, Ala.)
Jake Browning, Washington (Sr., Folsom, Calif.)
Kelly Bryant, Clemson (Sr., Calhoun Falls, S.C.)
Mason Fine, North Texas (Jr., Peggs, Okla.)
Ryan Finley, NC State (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.)
Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (Sr., Richmond Hill, Ga.)
Andrew Ford, UMass (Sr., Camp Hill, Penn.)
Jake Fromm, Georgia (So., Warner Robins, Ga.)
Will Grier, West Virginia (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.)
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)
Justin Herbert, Oregon (Jr., Eugene, Ore.)
Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin (Jr., West Chester, Penn.)
Jalen Hurts, Alabama (Jr., Houston, Texas)
Tyree Jackson, Buffalo (Jr., Norton Shores, Mich.)
Daniel Jones, Duke (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.)
Kyle Kempt, Iowa State (Sr., Massillon, Ohio)
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.)
Drew Lock, Missouri (Sr., Lee’s Summit, Mo.)
Trace McSorley, Penn State (Sr., Ashburn, Va.)
McKenzie Milton, UCF (Jr., Kapolei, Hawaii)
Nathan Rourke, Ohio (Jr., Oakville, Ontario)
Brett Rypien, Boise State (Sr., Spokane, Wash.)
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (Jr., Stephenville, Texas)
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee (Sr., Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Khalil Tate, Arizona (Jr., Inglewood, Calif.)
Manny Wilkins, Arizona State (Sr., Novato, Calif.)
Press Release Courtesy: Mike Montoro- WVU Athletics Communications
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS