Georgia fans losing sleep over an inexperienced quarterback should take note of the 2014 Davey O’Brien Award preseason watch list. Despite starting only two games last year, Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason is one of 39 quarterbacks nationwide included on the List.
Mason, a Marietta, Ga. native, commanded the Bulldog offense after four-year starter Aaron Murray suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2013 Kentucky game. Mason played the second half against the Wildcats and finished 13-of-19 for 189 yards and a touchdown along with a rushing score during the 59-17 victory. He also guided Georgia to a 41-34 double-overtime win at Georgia Tech after passing for 299 yards and a pair of scores.
For the year, 6-foot-3 Mason was 67-for-110 for 968 yards and five touchdown passes. Mason redshirted the 2012 season to create a year of separation with Murray and allow himself eligibility for 2014.
This year’s Watch List includes five Southeastern Conference quarterbacks, and is selected based on player performance during the previous year as well as expectations heading into the 2014 college football season. All nominees must have at least one career college game start.
Jameis Winston of Florida State, the 2013 Davey O’Brien winner, headlines the list. He is bidding to become the fourth quarterback ever to win the award twice, joining BYU’s Ty Detmer (1990-91), Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (1995-96) and Oklahoma’s Jason White (2003-04). Winston is joined on the watch list by five semifinalists from a year ago: Brett Hundley (UCLA), Sean Mannion (Oregon State), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Bryce Petty (Baylor).
Previous winners and a listing of all players on the Watch List is found on the Davey O’Brien Award Blog.
Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O’Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 125 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists on November 3. The three finalists will be announced on November 24. The 2014 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on December 11.
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. The award is overseen by the Davey O’Brien Foundation has awarded over $900,000 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 www.DaveyOBrien.org.
The Bulldogs start the season at home in Sanford Stadium against Clemson on August 30. ESPN will televise the 5:30 p.m. matchup.