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Klubnik Named to O’Brien Watch List

Klubnik Named to O’Brien Watch List

The Davey O’Brien Foundation announced today that quarterback Cade Klubnik has been named to the 2023 watch list for the Davey O’Brien Award, presented annually to the nation’s top quarterback.

Additional information from award organizers is included below. Visit the 2023 Preseason Honors hub for more preseason accolades garnered by Clemson.

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).

About the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award
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 Davey O’Brien Award honors candidates who exemplify Davey O’Brien’s enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the Davey O’Brien Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life. For more information, visit

Previous Davey O’Brien Award winners include: Jim McMahon (BYU, 1981), Todd Blackledge (Penn State, 1982), Steve Young (BYU, 1983), Doug Flutie (Boston College, 1984), Chuck Long (Iowa, 1985), Vinny Testaverde (Miami, 1986), Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1987), Troy Aikman (UCLA, 1988), Andre Ware (Houston, 1989), Ty Detmer (BYU, 1990-91), Gino Torretta (Miami, 1992), Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), Kerry Collins (Penn State, 1994), Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1995-96), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Michael Bishop (Kansas State, 1998), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech, 1999), Chris Weinke (Florida State, 2000), Eric Crouch (Nebraska, 2001), Brad Banks (Iowa, 2002), Jason White (Oklahoma, 2003-04), Vince Young (Texas, 2005), Troy Smith (Ohio State, 2006), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2008), Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Cam Newton (Auburn, 2010), Robert Griffin III (Baylor, 2011), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M, 2012), Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013), Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014), Deshaun Watson (Clemson, 2015-16), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma, 2017), Kyler Murray (Oklahoma, 2018), Joe Burrow (LSU, 2019), Mac Jones (Alabama, 2020), Bryce Young (Alabama, 2021) and Max Duggan (TCU, 2022).

About the NCFAA
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.

Sixteen NCFAA members are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period as the association spearheads a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2023 preseason watch list calendar:

Wed., Aug. 9: Doak Walker Award
Thu., Aug. 10: Butkus Award/Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award
Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award

For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.