Florida's Will Grier Earns Manning Award Quarterback of the Week Honor park
Will Grier, a redshirt freshman from the University of Florida, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Grier, who was questionable to play in the game due to illness, went 24-of-29 for 271 yards and threw all of his career-high four touchdown passes in the first half as the Gators jump ahead early en route to shocking No. 3 Ole Miss, 38-10. The victory sent Florida soaring from 25th in the national rankings to No. 11 in the AP Top 25.
Grier will face another test this weekend as the Gators (5-0, 3-0 SEC) travel to Missouri (4-1, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.
Grier's top competition came from Trevone Boykin of TCU and Southern Miss' Nick Mullens. Boykin, who only played three quarters, notched 332 passing yards and five touchdowns leading the Horned Frogs to their 13th straight victory, the second longest streak in the nation, as they rolled over Texas, 50-7. Mullens completed 27-of-36 passes for 325 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-14 blowout of C-USA rival North Texas. He also added a rushing touchdown and tallied his eighth 300-yard passing game.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. The 10 finalists for the honor will be announced on Wednesday, December 2 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, January 11.
In its first 11 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 10 different schools and from four different conferences. One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes into account the quarterbacks bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Ten of the 11 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor; the lone loss was by Colt McCoy in the 2010 BCS Championship game when he suffered an early injury. In addition to McCoy, six other Manning honorees (Matt Leinart, Vince Young, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota) led their teams to the national championship game (BCS or CFP).
All of 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. Sixty-two players from 58 different schools were honored during the 2014 season.