Allstate Sugar Bowl Announces Manning Award Watch List

NEW ORLEANS (August 4, 2021) – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its preseason Watch List on Thursday. The list includes 32 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2021 season. The winner will again be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.

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.

“We’re really looking forward to a football season that has a little more sense of normalcy this fall,” said Archie Manning. “There’s so much talent among the returning quarterbacks with the super seniors and so many other top players returning. We have 32 outstanding quarterbacks on the preseason Watch List; and I’m expecting the midseason additions to be very impressive as well with a lot of young guys and transfers expected to make major contributions.”

Inclusion on the Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List during the season. Finalists will be selected prior to the postseason and the winner will be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.

“The Sugar Bowl has considered it a great honor to sponsor the Manning Award for the past 17 years,” said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Jeff Hundley.  “After the challenges of the 2020 season, we’re all very excited that these outstanding young quarterbacks will have the opportunity for a more traditional season this year. And after the bowls and the College Football Playoff, we’ll be able to recognize the top quarterback with this honor.”

This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The ACC leads the way with five selections, while the Big 12 and the Sun Belt have four each. The AAC, Big Ten, MAC, Pac-12 and the SEC each have three selections.

Six of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s Watch List: Matt Corral (Ole Miss), Dillon Gabriel (UCF), Sam Howell (North Carolina), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Brock Purdy (Iowa State) and Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati).

2021 Manning Award Preseason Watch List (2020 stats)

Name, Class, School Cmp-Att Pct. Yards TD INT QBR Rushing
Cornelious Brown, So., Georgia State 178-304 58.6 2,278 17 10 56.7 301 yds, 7 TDs
Sean Clifford, Jr., Penn State 152-251 60.6 1,883 16 9 69.1 335 yds, 3 TDs
Matt Corral, Jr., Ole Miss 231-326 70.9 3,337 29 14 89.9 506 yds, 4 TDs
Dustin Crum, Sr., Kent State 83-113 73.5 1,181 12 2 88.5 240 yds, 4 TDs
Malik Cunningham, Sr., Louisville 195-304 64.1 2,617 20 12 78.5 609 yds, 7 TDs
Jayden Daniels, Jr., Arizona State 76-152 58.3 701 5 1 87.1 223 yds, 4 TDs
JT Daniels, Jr., Georgia 80-119 67.2 1,231 10 2 NA NA
Max Duggan, Jr., TCU 146-240 60.8 1,795 10 4 68.9 526 yds, 10 TDs
Kaleb Eleby, Jr., Western Michigan 99-153 64.7 1,715 18 2 78.1 4 TDs
Dillon Gabriel, Jr., UCF 248-413 60.0 3,570 32 4 78 169 yds, 2 TDs
Chase Garbers, Sr., Cal 85-136 62.5 771 6 3 57.1 2 TDs
Frank Harris, Sr., UTSA 159-250 63.6 1,630 12 6 62.3 528 yds, 9 TDs
Layne Hatcher, Jr., Arkansas State 116-194 59.8 2,058 19 2 69.7 NA
Sam Howell, Jr., North Carolina 237-348 68.1 3,586 30 7 79.3 146 yds, 5 TDs
Phil Jurkovec, Jr., Boston College 205-336 61.0 2,558 17 5 71.3 150 yds, 3 TDs
D’Eriq King, Sr., Miami 211-329 64.1 2,686 23 5 78 538 yds, 4 TDs
Levi Lewis, Sr., UL Lafayette 177-297 59.6 2,274 19 7 67.7 335 yds, 5 TDs
Grayson McCall, So., Coastal Carolina 172-250 68.8 2,488 26 3 82.2 569 yds, 7 TDs
Graham Mertz, So., Wisconsin 118-193 61.1 1,238 9 5 60.6 2 TDs
Bo Nix, Jr., Auburn 214-357 59.9 2,415 12 7 73.1 388 yds, 7 TDs
Michael Penix, Jr., Indiana 124-220 56.4 1,645 14 4 67.7 2 TDs
Kenny Pickett, Sr., Pittsburgh 203-332 61.1 2.408 13 9 60.9 145 yds, 8 TDs
Drew Plitt, Sr., Ball State 164-250 65.6 2,154 17 6 62.4 49 yds, 4 TDs
Michael Pratt, So., Tulane 140-254 55.1 1,806 20 8 53.2 229 yds, 8 TDs
Brock Purdy, Sr., Iowa State 243-365 66.6 2,750 19 9 78.8 382 yds, 5 TDs
Spencer Rattler, So., Oklahoma 214-317 67.5 3,031 28 7 81.2 160 yds, 6 TDs
Desmond Ridder, Sr., Cincinnati 186-281 66.2 2,296 19 6 80.9 592 yds, 12 TDs
Kedon Slovis, Jr., USC 177-264 67.0 1,921 17 7 75.7 NA
Nick Starkel, Sr., San Jose State 163-254 64.2 2,174 17 7 68.8 NA
Carson Strong, So., Nevada 249-355 70.1 2,858 27 4 66.1 NA
Skylar Thompson, Sr., Kansas State 40-64 62.5 626 4 0 NA 3 TDs
Malik Willis, Jr., Liberty 170-265 64.2 2,260 20 6 78.7 944 yds, 14 TDs

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 (Joe Burrow, Mac Jones, 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) are the only schools with two different winners.

Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Fourteen of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Burrow, Griffin III, Jones, Marcus Mariota, Mayfield, Murray, Ryan, Watson (twice) and Winston. On the other hand, Manziel, Murray, Newton, Watson (in 2015) and Young were all 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.

Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Twelve of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons – Burrow’s 65 touchdowns (60 passing, five rushing) broke Mariota’s record (58 in 2014) for touchdowns by a Manning Award winner.

One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes account of the quarterbacks’ bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Fourteen of the 17 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor. Twelve Manning Award honorees led their teams to the CFP Semifinals or a BCS Championship game appearance (Burrow, Jones, Matt Leinart, Mariota, Mayfield, McCoy, Murray, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Young). Eight won national championships (Burrow, Jones, Leinart, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Young).

Previous Manning Award winners have also factored prominently in the NFL Draft as they all heard their names called on Draft Day. Six honorees were selected No. 1 overall (Burrow, Mayfield, Murray, Newton, Russell and Winston), while four others went No. 2 or No. 3 (Griffin, Mariota, Ryan and Young).

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.

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. Seventy-three players from 66 different schools were honored during the 2020 season and 424 different quarterbacks from 129 schools have been recognized since 2011.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 99 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 19 Heisman Trophy winners in its 87-year history. The 88th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will feature top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2022. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.