O’Brien, Unitas, Dodd Watch Lists

July 19, 2017

Representatives from eight Big Ten Conference schools appear on the 2017 preseason watch lists for the Davey O’Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (both given annually to the nation’s top quarterback), as well as the Dodd Trophy (presented each season to the country’s top college football coach), according to Wednesday’s releases by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Three Big Ten standouts — Michigan’s Wilton Speight, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Penn State’s Trace McSorley — earned mention on this year’s Davey O’Brien Award preseason watch list. A student from a current Big Ten school has received the Davey O’Brien Award six times since its debut in 1981, with the most recent being Ohio State’s Troy Smith in 2006. (FULL LIST)

Speight, Barrett and McSorley were also among seven conference students named to the 2017 Johnny Unites Golden Arm Award preseason watch list. The other Big Ten students selected were Indiana’s Richard Lagow, Nebraska’s Tanner Lee, Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson and Purdue’s David Blough. Dating back to the award’s inception in 1987, three students from current Big Ten institutions have earned the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, most recently in 2015 when Michigan State’s Connor Cook was honored. (FULL LIST)

Four Big Ten coaches garnered a place on this year’s Dodd Trophy preseason watch list. The conference selections include Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Penn State’s James Franklin and Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst. Coaches from current Big Ten schools have earned the Dodd Trophy a total of 10 times since the award was first presented in 1976, with Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz the most recent conference recipient in 2015. (FULL LIST)

Wednesday’s announcements are the latest in a series of releases featuring Big Ten students and coaches appearing on preseason watch lists for all of the major college football awards. The following are links to those watch list announcements that have already been made:

May 22 -- Lott IMPACT Trophy
July 10 -- Bednarik and Maxwell Awards
July 10 -- Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
July 11 -- Mackey Award and Rimington Trophy
July 12 -- Groza and Guy Awards
July 13 -- Outland and Nagurski Trophies
July 14 -- Thorpe Award
July 17 -- Butkus and Hornung Awards
July 18 – Biletnikoff Award and Wuerffel Trophy