The Davey O'Brien Award is given annually to the nation's top quarterback. This year's preseason watch list is consists of 24 quarterbacks, half of which are seniors and includes a few folks who were up for the award last year, as well.
Three SEC Quarterbacks made the list: Auburn's Jeremy Johnson, Tennessee's Josh Dobbs, and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott. Auburn boasts one previous winner of the award, a little-known quarterback by the name of Cameron Newton who won it in an uneventful 2010 season.
Johnson comes in to the 2015 season with as much hype as any other quarterback in the nation and probably based on less game-action evidence than any other, as well.
What do his career stats look like? Well, like this:
That's a pretty good stat line. Sure, two of his three appearances were against Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic, but the thing that stood out to me for those games is that he did exactly what he should have done in those games: he dominated. He threw gorgeous deep balls for touchdowns. And, in 2013, he also ran the ball well.
Wait, what? He ran the ball well? Yes, he did. As Tuco pointed out, Jeremy Johnson CAN run the dang ball. Here are his career rushing stats:
Sure, his 2014 numbers look horrible, but that's because he was never asked to run the ball. Against vastly inferior competition in 2013, Johnson ran the ball quite well. If you watch his appearances in those two games, I think you'll get a much better idea of how Malzahn will utilize Jeremy Johnson this season.
More on that later, though. I have a whole article on Jeremy Johnson planned for publishing this afternoon or tomorrow. Right now, it's enough to know that Jeremy Johnson is considered as one of 24 quarterbacks tabbed in the preseason as a likely candidate for QB of the Year, and that's awesome.
I'm still trying to figure out how Duke Williams wasn't on the Biletnikoff list, though.