Handed out annually to the nation’s top SENIOR quarterback — notice that the word “senior” is in all-caps, bolded, italicized and underlined — the Johnny Unitas Golden Award is one of the most prestigious in the game.
Wednesday, the award announced the group of finalists eligible to win this year’s version of the honor.
A total of 10 finalists were named Wednesday afternoon, headlined by Alabama’s AJ McCarron and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd. Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, who leads the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes, is on the list as well.
One of the more glaring exclusions? LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, who’s in the midst of a breakout season that has him No. 6 in the country in passing efficiency.
Three of the quarterbacks come from each of the Pac-12 and SEC: Mannion, Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly (no relation) and Washington’s Keith Price from the former conference, McCarron, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw from the latter. The MAC is the only other league with more than one player, while the AAC, Big Ten and Big 12 were shutout.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Derek Carr, Fresno State
Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Sean Mannion, Oregon State
AJ McCarron, Alabama
Aaron Murray, Georgia
Keith Price, Washington
Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Keith Winning, Ball State