Let’s get this out of the way upfront: The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is awarded annually to quarterbacks who are either college seniors or fourth-year juniors who are scheduled to graduate with their class. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
With that out of the way, the winner of the Unitas Golden Arm Award was announced Tuesday afternoon, with the 2015 honor going to Michigan State’s Connor Cook. The senior was one of five finalists for the award, the other four being TCU’s Trevone Boykin, USC’s Cody Kessler, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott.
Cook is just the second Big Ten player in the 29-year history of the award to win it, joining Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien in 2010.
“Connor Cook is a proven winner,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “His 34-4 record as a starter is a tremendous statistic, and he’s played well on the big stage throughout his career. He has a big arm, quick release and good presence in the pocket. Connor has been very patient with his reads and has displayed remarkable accuracy in critical situations. He remains cool under pressure, and he has the knack for making plays when the game is on the line. Most importantly, he has been an outstanding game manager and leader. Connor is consistently playing at a high level, and he gives us a chance to win every game.”
Cook’s 34 wins are the second-most of any current quarterback, behind only the 35 of Stanford’s Kevin Hogan. Cook and his Spartans will get the opportunity to add to that total as they face Alabama in one of the two playoff semifinals New Year’s Eve.