Five upperclassmen quarterbacks have been named finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
The award, which is given out on December 8, is awarded to “the nation’s top college quarterback, based on his accomplishments both on and off the field.”
Each nominee must be a senior, or a fourth-year junior on track to graduate.
This year, five of the nation’s star signal callers are finalists for the award:
- J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
- Ryan Finley, NC State
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
- Trace McSorley, Penn State
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Mayfield is currently the favorite to win the Heisman, which means he is probably the favorite here as well. However, it is not unprecedented for a Heisman-winning quarterback to lose the Unitas Award. In 2011, Andrew Luck beat out Robert Griffin III, who went on to win the Heisman as a redshirt junior. The year before, Scott Tolzien beat out redshirt junior Cam Newton. Brady Quinn beat out Heisman winner Troy Smith in 2006, Eli Manning edged out Jason White in 2003. White would go on to win the Unitas Award in 2004, but lost the Heisman to true junior Matt Leinart. In 1990, Miami’s Craig Erickson beat out Heisman winner Ty Detmer from BYU.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has been given out since 1987. Syracuse’s Don McPherson was the first recipient.