Dueling awards disagree on which state QBs are ones to watch

Three state quarterbacks, including one that hasnt played a down for his current team, are named as candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award while another makes the list for the Davey OBrien Award

Matt Cashore— / USA Today Sports
Duke quarterback Daniel Jones throws a pass in the Blue Devils' win at Notre Dame last season. (Matt Cashore— / USA Today Sports)

Wednesday is quarterback day in the announcement of preseason college football watch lists with two major awards — the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Davey O’Brien Award — revealing their contingent of potential candidates. Among those recognized by the Unitas Award, presented by a foundation named for the former Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer, are Brandon Harris, a graduate transfer from LSU who has yet to take a snap for North Carolina, NC State’s Ryan Finley and Appalachian State’s Taylor Lamb. Two quarterbacks that started their college careers at state schools, Virginia’s Kurt Benkert (ECU) and UConn’s Bryant Shirreffs (NC State) are also included on the list of 47 quarterbacks nationally. One local player that wasn’t included on the Unitas watch list is, Duke’s Daniel Jones, is coincidentally the only one from a state school mentioned as a candidate for the the other award honoring the best quarterback in college football. The Unitas Award, which also considers “character, citizenship, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship” in addition to on-field performance, will be presented at a banquet in Baltimore on December 8. The O’Brien Award winner will be announced as part of a made-for-television awards show on December 7.