The only major piece of college football hardware that takes into account postseason performance has whittled its list of potential winners down significantly.
Thursday, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced the 11 finalists for the 2018 Manning Award, named in honor of the quarterbacking Mannings — Archie, Peyton and Eli. The finalists are fairly evenly split among the major conferences, with the SEC leading the way with three. The Big 12 is next with two, followed by one each for the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12.
The AAC is the only Group of Five conference represented, and that league pulled in a pair of finalists.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is the only freshman, true or redshirt, to make the cut, while three sophomores (Georgia’s Jake Fromm, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa) make an appearance.
“College football has a truly impressive group of quarterbacks this year,” said Archie Manning in a statement. “It was very challenging to sit down and only select 11 for this honor and I want to give my thanks to our group of voters for taking the time to come up with an excellent group of finalists. Now we can all look forward to the postseason games to see which quarterback steps up and proves himself to be the best for the full season.”
Last year’s winner of the Manning Award was Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
Ian Book, Jr., Notre Dame
Jake Fromm, So., Georgia
Dwayne Haskins, So., Ohio State
Will Grier, Sr., West Virginia
D’Eriq King, Jr., Houston
Trevor Lawrence, Fr., Clemson
Drew Lock, Sr., Missouri
McKenzie Milton, Jr., UCF
Gardner Minshew, Sr., Washington State
Kyler Murray, Jr., Oklahoma
Tua Tagovailoa, So., Alabama