Kentucky’s Will Levis Named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week
NEW ORLEANS (September 9, 2021) – Will Levis, a junior from Kentucky, 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.
Facebook Voting Results
Levis, a transfer from Penn State making his Kentucky debut, completed 18-of-26 passes for 367 yards and four touchdowns while playing just over three quarters of action in a 45-10 victory over UL Monroe. He completed passes to 10 different players while setting the school-record for passing yards in a debut.
The 6-foot-3, 222-pound native of Madison, Conn., connected with Josh Ali five times for 136 yards and a touchdown while also finding Wan’Dale Robinson five times for 124 yards and a TD. It was the first time that Kentucky had a pair of 100-yard receivers since November 5, 2011, when Matt Roark (116) and La’Rod King (102) did so against Ole Miss.
Levis’ 367 passing yards was the most by a Wildcat quarterback since Patrick Towles had 390 in 2014 against Mississippi State. Last season, Kentucky’s high for passing yards in a game was 239.
Levis and the Wildcats return to action on Saturday when they open SEC play, hosting Missouri at 6:30 p.m. Central on the SEC Network.
The closest competition for Levis and the Wildcat fans in the Facebook voting contest came from Cincinnati’s Desmond Rider and Will Rogers from Mississippi State. Ridder threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns while also running for a score in the Bearcats’ 49-14 victory over Miami (Ohio) in the 125th all-time meeting between the two state rivals. Rogers, who threw for 370 yards, had a sensational fourth quarter, completing all 10 of his passes for 128 yards, including a 15-yard TD pass with 3:37 to go, to cap a 21-0 Bulldog run to close the game in a 35-34 comeback win over Louisiana Tech.
While the Manning Award selected 32 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. Ten finalists will be selected and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In its first 17 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 13 different schools and from four different conferences. The Southeastern Conference (Mac Jones, Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) leads the way with six Manning Award honorees, while the Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) has had five winners. The Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell), Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) have each had two different winners.
All 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.