University of South Carolina sophomore Jake Bentley is one of 30 players named to the Davey O’Brien Watch List, as announced today by the Davey O’Brien Foundation. The award annually recognizes the nation’s top collegiate quarterback.
Bentley, a 6-3, 220-pound sophomore from Opelika, Ala., is the incumbent at quarterback after starting each of the final seven games of the 2016 campaign. After one season, he ranks atop the Carolina list for career completion percentage at 65.8 (125-for-190). He threw for 1,420 yards and nine touchdowns in his freshman campaign. Despite playing just half the season, Bentley shared Most Valuable Player honors with Deebo Samuel and was named the Joe Morrison Offensive Player in the Spring. He also was recently named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, which goes to the nation’s outstanding player.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2017 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at their current institution.
Eleven seniors, 11 juniors and eight sophomores comprise the list. Among leagues, the SEC led the way with six selections, while the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 had four apiece.
Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Quarterbacks from all 130 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award.
Sixteen semifinalists for the award will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 7. From that list, the Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce the three finalists on Monday, Nov. 20. The 2017 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be announced live Thursday, Dec. 7 on The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The 2017 season marks the 11th year that fans will be invited to participate in the voting process on VoteOBrien.org. Results from the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote will be combined with the ballots from the Selection Committee. Fan voting, which accounts for five percent of the total balloting, will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The 41st Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas.