Cade Klubnik named to O’Brien Watch List

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik smiles after being named game MVP after Clemson defeated North...
Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik smiles after being named game MVP after Clemson defeated North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)(Jacob Kupferman | AP)
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 4:02 PM EDT
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FORT WORTH, Texas (Aug. 8, 2023) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation unveiled the 2023 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Preseason Watch List today, a group that includes 35 of the nation’s top returning college quarterbacks.

Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2023 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at an NCAA Division I institution.

Headlining the group is 2022 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award finalist Caleb Williams of USC. Including Williams, 15 of last year’s 20 semifinalists return. That group includes Jayden Daniels (LSU), Frank Harris (UTSA), Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), Tanner Mordecai (Wisconsin), Bo Nix (Oregon), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Austin Reed (Western Kentucky), Cameron Rising (Utah), Will Rogers (Mississippi State), Kurtis Rourke (Ohio) and Jordan Travis (Florida State).

The rest of the watch list consists of Carter Bradley (South Alabama), Chevan Cordeiro (San Jose State), Jalon Daniels (Kansas), Quinn Ewers (Texas), Dequan Finn (Toledo), Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma), Taylen Green (Boise State), Seth Henigan (Memphis), Will Howard (Kansas State), KJ Jefferson (Arkansas), Cade Klubnik (Clemson), Devin Leary (Kentucky), Riley Leonard (Duke), Joe Milton III (Tennessee), John Rhys Plumlee (UCF), Michael Pratt (Tulane), Garrett Shrader (Syracuse), Jeff Sims (Nebraska), Taulia Tagovailoa (Maryland) and E.J. Warner (Temple).

All 10 FBS conferences as well as a football independent are represented on the list. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC lead the way with five preseason selections apiece. The list features 20 seniors, 10 juniors and five sophomores.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. The 47th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner honoring the winner will be held Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

The official Davey O’Brien Midseason Watch List will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and will contain all active quarterbacks from the Preseason Watch List, all players honored as a weekly Great 8 recipient through the season’s first eight weeks and any additional quarterbacks approved by the selection subcommittee.

The Midseason Watch List will then be pared down to the 35-player Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2023 on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Fan voting on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) will again play a role in the semifinalist, finalist and winner voting totals when combined with the national selection committee’s ballots. Voting will begin on Oct. 31.

The list of semifinalists selected from the QB Class will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Tuesday, Nov. 28). The 2023 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 7, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.

2023 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Preseason Watch List

Carter Bradley, South Alabama, Sr., 6-3, 216, Jacksonville, Fla.

Chevan Cordeiro, San Jose State, Sr., 6-1, 196, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Jalon Daniels, Kansas, Jr., 6-0, 215, Lawndale, Calif.

Jayden Daniels, LSU, Sr., 6-4, 210, San Bernardino, Calif.

Quinn Ewers, Texas, So., 6-2, 195, Southlake, Texas

Dequan Finn, Toledo, Jr., 6-2, 205, Detroit, Mich.

Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma, Sr., 5-11, 204, Mililani, Hawai’i

Taylen Green, Boise State, So., 6-6, 223, Lewisville, Texas

Frank Harris, UTSA, Sr., 6-0, 205, Schertz, Texas

Sam Hartman, Notre Dame, Sr., 6-1, 212, Charlotte, N.C.

Seth Henigan, Memphis, Jr., 6-3, 210, Denton, Texas

Will Howard, Kansas State, Sr., 6-5, 242, Downingtown, Pa.

KJ Jefferson, Arkansas, Sr., 6-3, 247, Sardis, Miss.

Cade Klubnik, Clemson, So., 6-2, 195, Austin, Texas

Devin Leary, Kentucky, Sr., 6-1, 217, Sicklerville, N.J.

Riley Leonard, Duke, Jr., 6-4, 212, Fairhope, Ala.

Drake Maye, North Carolina, So., 6-4, 230, Huntersville, N.C.

Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina, Sr., 6-3, 220, Indian Trail, N.C.

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan, Jr., 6-3, 202, La Grange Park, Ill.

Joe Milton III, Tennessee, Sr., 6-5, 235, Pahokee, Fla.

Tanner Mordecai, Wisconsin, Sr., 6-2, 218, Waco, Texas

Bo Nix, Oregon, Sr., 6-3, 214, Pinson, Ala.

Michael Penix Jr., Sr., Washington, 6-3, 213, Tampa, Fla.

John Rhys Plumlee, UCF, Sr., 6-0, 200, Hattiesburg, Miss.

Michael Pratt, Tulane, Jr., 6-3, 220, Boca Raton, Fla.

Austin Reed, Western Kentucky, Jr., 6-2, 230, St. Augustine Beach, Fla.

Cameron Rising, Utah, Sr., 6-2, 220, Ventura, Calif.

Will Rogers, Mississippi State, Jr., 6-2, 210, Brandon, Miss.

Kurtis Rourke, Ohio, Sr., 6-5, 231, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Garrett Shrader, Syracuse, Sr., 6-4, 225, Charlotte, N.C.

Jeff Sims, Nebraska, Jr., 6-4, 220, Jacksonville, Fla.

Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland, Sr., 5-11, 208, Ewa Beach, Hawai’i

Jordan Travis, Florida State, Sr., 6-1, 212, West Palm Beach, Fla.

E.J. Warner, Temple, So., 6-0, 190, Phoenix, Ariz.

Caleb Williams, USC, Jr., 6-1, 220, Washington, D.C.

By Conference: ACC (5), Big 12 (5), SEC (5), Big Ten (4), Pac-12 (4), American (4), MAC (2), MW (2), Sun Belt (2), CUSA (1), Independent (1).

By Class: Seniors (20), Juniors (10), Sophomores (5).