NEW ORLEANS — The Allstate Sugar Bowl published its complete preseason Watch List for The Manning Award on Thursday and Tennessee rising junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs is one of 30 signal callers to appear on the preliminary roll.
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. The winner will again be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
“We’re very excited about the group of quarterbacks on our Watch List,” said Archie Manning. “And once the season gets rolling, I am sure we will see additional quarterbacks become worthy of inclusion as they establish themselves, so we will make some additions.”
Dobbs is coming off a sophomore campaign in which he was named the MVP of the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl after leading the Vols to a 45-28 win over Iowa. He accounted for 205 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in the win, running his record as a starter during the 2014 season to 4-1.
During those five games in which Dobbs started under center, Tennessee averaged 36.7 points per game and racked up 431 yards of offense per contest. In six appearances overall, the Alpharetta, Georgia, native compiled 1,675 yards of total offense–an average of 279 per game–and was responsible for 17 touchdowns (nine passing, eight rushing). Dobbs threw for 1,206 yards on 112-of-177 passing while rushing for 469 yards.
With Thursday’s announcement, Dobbs is now listed as a preseason candidate for five major college football awards. He has been named to the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List (recognizing the nation’s best college quarterback), the Weurffel Trophy Watch List (college football’s premier award for community service), the Maxwell Award Watch List (America’s college player of the year), and as a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® (recognizing superior commitment to community service).
Tyler Bray was the last Tennessee quarterback to be listed on the watch list for the Manning Award, receiving the distinction prior to the start of the 2011 season. In 2006, Erik Ainge became UT’s first semifinalist for the Manning Award.
Inclusion on the Manning Award Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Midseason additions to the Watch List will be announced on Wednesday, October 14. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Wednesday, November 25. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 13.
This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The ACC leads the way with five selections, followed by the SEC, the Pac-12 and the American with four each. There are 15 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has three.
Three of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s Watch List: Trevone Boykin (TCU), Cody Kessler (USC) and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State).
“We have had the opportunity to recognize 11 outstanding quarterbacks with the Manning Award,” said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO. “It is truly a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor this award and we wish the best of luck to every quarterback and team in the country for another great year of college football.”
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. While the Southeastern Conference leads the way with four Manning Award winners (JaMarcus Russell, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel), Texas is the only school with two winners (Vince Young and Colt McCoy).
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. Last season, one of these weekly honors was bestowed on Dobbs following his stellar performance in Tennessee’s come-from-behind, overtime victory at South Carolina.
(Story Courtesy University of Tennessee Athletics)