Ole Miss senior quarterback Chad Kelly was named to the Manning Award preseason watch list Monday afternoon. The prestigious honor is sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl committee.
This year’s watch list includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The Big 12 leads the way with five selections, following by the Big Ten and ACC with four each. There are 15 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has three.
Kelly is one of three quarterbacks from the Southeastern Conference – the other two being Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs and Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight – to appear on the watch list. The list includes 30 of the top quarterbacks heading into the 2016 season. The winner will be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowl games.
(Click here for the complete Manning Award Watch List.)
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.
Kelly, the 6-foot-2, 224-pound signal caller for the Rebels, isn’t a new face when it comes to appearing on preseason watch lists. He also appears on the Davey O’Brien, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, Walter Camp, and Maxwell Awards watch lists.
Last season, Kelly broke or tied 14 single-season school records, including total offensive yards (4,542), touchdowns responsible for (41), passing yards (4,042) and completion percentage (65.1). He also threw for 300 yards in eight of the team’s 13 games last season, the most in school history.
The Buffalo, New York native, is one of four of last year’s Manning Award finalists to make a return to the list. The others are Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, who will look to become the first to win the award two seasons in a row, Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Greg Ward Jr., (Houston).
Midseason additions to the watch list will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The list of the 10 finalists will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Feature image credit: Cameron Brooks