University of Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham was named to the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Wednesday.
The list includes 32 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2021 season. The winner will again be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
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 includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
Entering his third season as a starter, Cunningham has thrown for 5,155 career yards and 43 touchdowns in his career, which ranks 10th and seventh, respectively, on UofL’s all-time list. He ranks second all-time in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
The native of Montgomery, Ala., set career highs last season in passing yards with 2,615 and tossed 20 touchdowns. He finished second on the team with 609 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, while posting a pair of 100-yard rushing contests. He rushed for a career best 197 yards at Virginia and added 133 in a loss at Boston College.
Through the air, Cunningham threw for a season high 350 yards and three touchdowns versus Virginia Tech and opened the year with 343 yards and three scores against Western Kentucky.
The redshirt junior completed 64.1 percent of his throws and became the first quarterback in school history with four 75-yard touchdown passes in a career.
Inclusion on the Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List during the season. Finalists will be selected prior to the postseason and the winner will be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The ACC leads the way with five selections, while the Big 12 and the Sun Belt have four each. The AAC, Big Ten, MAC, Pac-12 and the SEC each have three selections. Both the senior class and the junior class have 13 quarterbacks on the list while the sophomore class has six.
Six of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s Watch List: Matt Corral (Ole Miss), Dillon Gabriel (UCF), Sam Howell (North Carolina), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Brock Purdy (Iowa State) and Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati).
2021 Manning Award Preseason Watch List (2020 stats)
|Name, Class, School||Cmp-Att||Pct.||Yards||TD||INT||QBR||Rushing|
|Cornelius Brown, So., Georgia State||178-304||58.6||2,278||17||10||56.7||301 yds, 7 TDs|
|Sean Clifford, Jr., Penn State||152-251||60.6||1,883||16||9||69.1||335 yds, 3 TDs|
|Matt Corral, Jr., Ole Miss||231-326||70.9||3,337||29||14||89.9||506 yds, 4 TDs|
|Dustin Crum, Sr., Kent State||83-113||73.5||1,181||12||2||88.5||240 yds, 4 TDs|
|Malik Cunningham, Sr., Louisville||195-304||64.1||2,617||20||12||78.5||609 yds, 7 TDs|
|Jayden Daniels, Jr., Arizona State||76-152||58.3||701||5||1||87.1||223 yds, 4 TDs|
|JT Daniels, Jr., Georgia||80-119||67.2||1,231||10||2||NA||NA|
|Max Duggan, Jr., TCU||146-240||60.8||1,795||10||4||68.9||526 yds, 10 TDs|
|Kaleb Eleby, Jr., Western Michigan||99-153||64.7||1,715||18||2||78.1||4 TDs|
|Dillon Gabriel, Jr., UCF||248-413||60.0||3,570||32||4||78||169 yds, 2 TDs|
|Chase Garbers, Sr., Cal||85-136||62.5||771||6||3||57.1||2 TDs|
|Frank Harris, Sr., UTSA||159-250||63.6||1,630||12||6||62.3||528 yds, 9 TDs|
|Layne Hatcher, Jr., Arkansas State||116-194||59.8||2,058||19||2||69.7||NA|
|Sam Howell, Jr., North Carolina||237-348||68.1||3,586||30||7||79.3||146 yds, 5 TDs|
|Phil Jurkovec, Jr., Boston College||205-336||61.0||2,558||17||5||71.3||150 yds, 3 TDs|
|D’Eriq King, Sr., Miami||211-329||64.1||2,686||23||5||78||538 yds, 4 TDs|
|Levi Lewis, Sr., UL Lafayette||177-297||59.6||2,274||19||7||67.7||335 yds, 5 TDs|
|Grayson McCall, So., Coastal Carolina||172-250||68.8||2,488||26||3||82.2||569 yds, 7 TDs|
|Graham Mertz, So., Wisconsin||118-193||61.1||1,238||9||5||60.6||2 TDs|
|Bo Nix, Jr., Auburn||214-357||59.9||2,415||12||7||73.1||388 yds, 7 TDs|
|Michael Penix, Jr., Indiana||124-220||56.4||1,645||14||4||67.7||2 TDs|
|Kenny Pickett, Sr., Pittsburgh||203-332||61.1||2.408||13||9||60.9||145 yds, 8 TDs|
|Drew Plitt, Sr., Ball State||164-250||65.6||2,154||17||6||62.4||49 yds, 4 TDs|
|Michael Pratt, So., Tulane||140-254||55.1||1,806||20||8||53.2||229 yds, 8 TDs|
|Brock Purdy, Sr., Iowa State||243-365||66.6||2,750||19||9||78.8||382 yds, 5 TDs|
|Spencer Rattler, So., Oklahoma||214-317||67.5||3,031||28||7||81.2||160 yds, 6 TDs|
|Desmond Ridder, Sr., Cincinnati||186-281||66.2||2,296||19||6||80.9||592 yds, 12 TDs|
|Kedon Slovis, Jr., USC||177-264||67.0||1,921||17||7||75.7||NA|
|Nick Starkel, Sr., San Jose State||163-254||64.2||2,174||17||7||68.8||NA|
|Carson Strong, So., Nevada||249-355||70.1||2,858||27||4||66.1||NA|
|Skylar Thompson, Sr., Kansas State||40-64||62.5||626||4||0||NA||3 TDs|
|Malik Willis, Sr., Liberty||170-265||64.2||2,260||20||6||78.7||944 yds, 14 TDs|