The Allstate Sugar Bowl announced today that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been named as one of 12 finalists for the 2020 Manning Award, presented annually to the nation’s best quarterback following the completion of bowl season. If selected, Lawrence would be the second Clemson quarterback to win the award, joining Deshaun Watson, who earned the honor in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016.
Additional information from award organizers is included below.
NEW ORLEANS – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced 12 finalists for this year’s award on Thursday. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.
The finalists for this year’s Manning Award are:
Name, SchoolIan Book, Notre DameMatt Corral, Ole MissJustin Fields, Ohio StateDillon Gabriel, UCFSam Howell, North CarolinaMac Jones, AlabamaTrevor Lawrence, ClemsonGrayson McCall, Coastal CarolinaBrock Purdy, Iowa StateDesmond Ridder, CincinnatiKyle Trask, FloridaZach Wilson, BYU
“This has been a unique year for sure,” said Archie Manning. “But even with all the challenges, we once again have an outstanding group of quarterbacks as finalists for the Manning Award. I’m really looking forward to watching them in conference championship games, bowl games and the national championship game. Those are the biggest games of the year and it will be fun to see who rises to the top.”
Statistically, the group of finalists excels in nearly every category as they have combined for a total of 284 touchdowns. The group has thrown nearly six times as many touchdown passes as interceptions. In addition, seven of the finalists ran for five or more rushing touchdowns. Eight of this year’s Manning Award finalists directed their programs to conference championship games this weekend.
The list includes six juniors and three sophomores as well as two seniors and one freshman. The finalists are distributed between six different conferences: the ACC and the SEC lead the way with three selections while the AAC has two and the Big 12, Big Ten and the Sun Belt have one each. There is also one independent school represented.
In its first 16 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) and the Southeastern Conference (Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) lead the way with five Manning Award honorees each, while the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell) joins Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) as the only schools with two different winners.
Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Thirteen of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Burrow, Griffin III, Marcus Mariota, Mayfield, Murray, Ryan, Watson (twice) and Winston. On the other hand, Manziel, Murray, Newton, Watson (in 2015) and Young were all 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.
Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Eleven of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons – Burrow’s 65 touchdowns (60 passing, five rushing) broke Mariota’s record (58 in 2014) for touchdowns by a Manning Award winner.
One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes account of the quarterbacks’ bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Thirteen of the 16 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor. Eleven Manning Award honorees led their teams to the CFP Semifinals or a BCS Championship game appearance (Burrow, Matt Leinart, Mariota, Mayfield, McCoy, Murray, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Young). Seven won national championships (Burrow, Leinart, Newton, Tebow, Watson, Winston and Young).
Previous Manning Award winners have also factored prominently in the NFL Draft as they all heard their names called on Draft Day. Six honorees were selected No. 1 overall (Burrow, Mayfield, Murray, Newton, Russell and Winston), while four others went No. 2 or No. 3 (Griffin, Mariota, Ryan and Young).
All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.
In addition to the Manning Award’s yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Stars of the Week. Seventy-three players from 66 different schools were honored during the 2020 season and 424 different quarterbacks from 129 schools have been recognized since 2011.