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All-Time Johnny Unitas Award Winners


2013 Johnny Unitas "Golden Arm" Award Watch List

August 1, 2013

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica are proud to announce the Top 30 watch list for the 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Established in 1987, this prestigious award is presented at the end of each season to the nation’s top college quarterback based on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments. Candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class.

For more information, visit the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation website.

Past standout winners of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award include: Peyton Manning(Tennessee, 1997); Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003); Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006); Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007); Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009); and Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011). Last year’s winner, Collin Klein of Kanas State, was a 2nd Team All-American (AP) and the 2012 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year (AP).

The award made its debut in 1987 when it was claimed by Syracuse's Don McPherson.

The namesake of the award has a storied history which has earned him the recognition of being named the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL. An 18-year veteran of the NFL, Unitas played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville (1951-1954), passing for 3007 yds and 27 TDs. Unitas, who wore #19 as a professional, had his # 16 collegiate uniform retired at Louisville, the lone number retired by the Cardinals. Unitas began his 18 year pro career with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and played there until joining the San Diego Chargers for his final season. He completed 2,830 of 5,186 passes for 40,239 yds and 290 TDs during his 18 year NFL career. Among his many records is one that may stand forever, throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Unitas was selected as the top quarterback of all-time by the Pro Football Hall of Fame 36 member selection committee. In commemorating the NFL’s 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries, he was also honored as the "Greatest Quarterback of All-Time." A Pro Bowl participant 10 times and a three-time MVP honoree, Unitas was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979. In turn of the century listings, Unitas was featured among Sports Illustrated's top ten athletes, Time’s ten most influential athletes and in ESPN’s series on the 50 Greatest Athletes of the Century.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented at a ceremony on December 6, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. For the 2013 Golden Arm Award ceremony, The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica are happy to be returning to the Embassy Suites Baltimore Downtown & GRAND HISTORIC VENUE (formerly The Tremont Grand), where the ceremony was held from 2006 until 2010.

Here is the list of 2013 preseason candidates:

  • Blake Bortles, UCF
  • Tajh Boyd, Clemson
  • Kolton Browning, ULM
  • Kain Colter, Northwestern
  • Derek Carr, Fresno State
  • Jeff Driskel, Florida
  • Cody Fajardo, Nevada
  • David Fales, San Jose State
  • James Franklin, Missouri
  • Cody Green, Tulsa
  • Brendon Kay, Cincinnati
  • Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
  • Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
  • Sean Mannion, Oregon State
  • Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
  • Jeff Mathews, Cornell
  • Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State
  • AJ McCarron, Alabama
  • Stephen Morris, Miami
  • Aaron Murray, Georgia
  • Keith Price, Washington
  • Bryn Renner, North Carolina
  • Chase Rettig, Boston College
  • Corey Robinson, Troy
  • Tyler Russell, Mississippi State
  • Connor Shaw, South Carolina
  • Joe Southwick, Boise State
  • Tyler Tettleton, Ohio
  • Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
  • Keith Wenning, Ball State