NC State's Finley, Duke's Jones named to Manning Award watch list
Posted August 16
Durham, N.C. — The second-year starting quarterbacks at both NC State and Duke are on the preseason watch list for the Manning Award, which is presented to the top college quarterback in the country at the end of the season. Ryan Finley and Daniel Jones are two of the 30 QBs on the list of the best in the nation entering the season.
In July, Jones was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, presented to the college player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club, and the Davey O’Brien Award, given annually to the nation’s top quarterback by the Davey O’Brien Foundation. Jones has also earned a spot on Athlon Sports’ preseason All-ACC fourth team.
Finley is also on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list which is given annually to the nation's outstanding senior or fourth-year quarterback in college football. Finley is a redshirt junior, after the NCAA awarded him a sixth year of eligibility because he only played three games his true sophomore season in Idaho because of injury, but this will be his fourth year playing quarterback after two seasons with Boise State.
Finley is already 15th in career passing yards on NC State's all-time list and is tied for 14th in touchdown passes after just one season leading the Pack offense (he threw 18 TD passes in 2016). The 6-foot-4, 210 pound quarterback threw for 3,059 yards in 2016 which is the sixth-best single season mark for any NC State QB. Finley's 3,153 yards of total offense rank him seventh inthat category on the school's all-time, single-seaon list.
Jones and 2016 Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson (Louisville) are the only two returning ACC quarterbacks to throw for more than 2,500 yards, connect on 15 or more passing TDs, rush for 450 or more yards and score at least five rushing TDs last season.
In the Charlotte native's first season playing at Duke, the 6-foot-5, 215 pound QB completed 270-of-430 (.638) passes for 2,836 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed 141 times for 486 yards (3.45) and seven scores en route to amassing 3,322 total offensive yards which was the most ever a Duke rookie.
Midseason additions to the Watch List will be announced on Thursday, October 12. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Thursday, November 30. The winner will be announced in the week following the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Manning Award, which is the only QB award which includes the candidates' bowl games in its balloting, does not require its winner to be included in the preseason or midseason watch lists.