West Virginia v Texas

ACC paces revamped Johnny Unitas list


The Big 12 may get the recognition nationally for its prowess in the passing game, but its another conference more than any other that’s caught the eye of a major quarterbacking award.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award released its revamped list Thursday, and the ACC topped all conferences with five of the 15 players named.   The original Unitas preseason watch list had consisted of 15 players.

The Big 12, of course, was well represented as well, placing four players on the list.  The SEC was the only other conference with more than one player, coming in with three.

Just one player from this year’s group of semifinalists — Oklahoma’s Landry Jones — was a finalist for the award last season.  The five finalists for the 2012 award will be announced in mid-November, while the award will be presented in early December.

Matt Barkley, USC
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Nick Florence, Baylor
Mike Glennon, NC State
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Collin Klein, Kansas State
EJ Manuel, Florida State
AJ McCarron, Alabama
Aaron Murray, Georgia
Bryn Renner, North Carolina
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Tyler Tettleton, Ohio
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah