USC’s Bentley Named to Johnny Unitas Award Watch List

USC’s Bentley Named to Johnny Unitas Award Watch List
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley (19) scrambles with the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston) (Source: Bryan Woolston)

University of South Carolina senior quarterback Jake Bentley has been named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award preseason Watch List, it was announced today. The award, which is sponsored by A. O. Smith Corporation, is given annually in the United States to the nation's outstanding senior or fourth-year quarterback in college football. Candidates are judged on accomplishments on the field as well as on their character, scholastic achievement, and leadership qualities.

A 6-4, 220-pounder from Opelika, Ala., Bentley owns a 19-13 career record as a starter, including a 10-7 mark in SEC games. He ranks second in South Carolina history in completion percentage (62.8), is third in pass completions (610) and passing touchdowns (54), fourth in passing yards (7,385), pass attempts (972) and touchdowns responsible for (62) and fifth in total offense (7,533) entering his senior season. Off the field, Bentley was recognized as the Harold White GPA Award winner for offense at the spring game, has made numerous SEC academic honor rolls, is a two-time team captain and team leadership award winner, and captured the SEC Sportsmanship Award in 2017-18.

The Golden Arm Award is entering the second year of its partnership with A. O. Smith. "We are very proud and honored to continue this partnership with A. O. Smith," commented John Unitas Jr., President of the Johnny Unitas Educational Foundation. "The entire A. O. Smith organization has truly embraced all that the award represents and we look forward to continuing that momentum for many years to come."

"A. O. Smith has a legacy of innovation and performance in the water heating and water treatment industries, much like Johnny Unitas did on the football field. Both of these iconic names have been around for decades and share many of each other's values," said Jeff Storie, A. O. Smith's director of marketing. "For A. O. Smith, partnering with the Johnny Unitas Foundation and the Golden Arm Award makes perfect sense. We're excited to tie our own efforts to further education in our trade with the Foundation's efforts to help further the education of youths interested in football around the country."

Sharing a tradition of innovation with Unitas, who invented football's two-minute drill, A. O. Smith has been an innovator in its industry for more than a century. A. O. Smith offers its customers an additional competitive advantage in that the company designs, builds, distributes and field supports one of the world's broadest lines of residential and commercial water heaters, water treatment products as well as commercial boilers. This single-source concept simplifies ordering, installation and service and is backed by decades of research and innovation.

Bentley and the Gamecocks will open the 2019 season on August 31 in Charlotte against North Carolina. The 3:30 pm contest will be televised nationally on ESPN.