Baker Mayfield will collect myriad awards in from here on out. This isn’t one of them.
In a mildly surprising turn of events, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph was announced Thursday as the 2017 winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The award has been given annually since 1987 to the top quarterback in the country who is either a senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class and takes into account his accomplishments both on and off the field.
From the award’s release:
The native of Rock Hill, South Carolina has quarterbacked OSU to a 31-9 record as a starter and has led the Cowboys to 10 victories in games in which they trailed during the second half. Rudolph has beat every team in the Big 12 during his career and he holds no fewer than 50 school records. He enters the bowl game with 13,267 career passing yards, a mark that ranks fourth in Big 12 history.
Rudolph hit a career mark of 323.6 passing yards per game which is third in Big 12 history. The senior ranks in the top three among the FBS active career leaders in passing yards per completion, passing yards per attempt, total passing yards, passing yards per game, total offense and total offense yards per play. He led the FBS with 4,553 passing yards and 379.4 passing yards per game during the regular season. The 22-year-old not only has impressive stats on the field, but he is also Oklahoma State’s most active player in community service activities.
Mayfield, the Oklahoma Sooner who is the Heisman Trophy front-runner by a large margin but whose off-field incident this past offseason likely hurt him in this particular voting, was one of five finalists for this year’s award. Besides the two already mentioned, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, Penn State’s Trace McSorley and NC State’s Ryan Finley were in the mix as well.
Tennessee’s Peyton Manning was the first winner of the award, while Clemson’s Deshaun Watson claimed it in 2016.