Courtesy of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
BALTIMORE, Md. - The annual competition to select the top senior college quarterback in the nation has been narrowed from an original field of 22 to five finalists for the 2009 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Named after the man many call the greatest quarterback ever to play football, the prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually to the nationâ€™s top senior college quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica, a leading provider of innovative business and personal financial services (www.transamerica.com).
The remaining candidates for the 2009 Golden Arm Award are â€“
Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan), the only player in NCAA history with 11,000 career passing yards and 2,500 career rushing yards. LeFevour leads all current players with 138 career touchdowns (92 passing, 45 rushing, and one receiving).
Thaddeus Lewis (Duke), who entered this season ranked fourth all-time at Duke in passing yards (6,735), pass completions (603), passing touchdowns (47), and total offense (6,609).
Colt McCoy (Texas), the fifth-year quarterback who is 42-7 in 49 career starts. McCoyâ€™s 42 victories are the most in UT history, bettering Vince Youngâ€™s previous record of 30 wins. Before this weekendâ€™s win over Baylor, McCoy had completed 231 of 317 passes (72.9%) for 2,447 yards and a passer rating of 149.7.
Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State), the NCAAâ€™s fifth-ranked active career passer coming into this season, has passed for 1,922 yards and 15 TDs in 2009 for a QB rating of 142.55.
Tim Tebow (Florida), a dual threat as a passer and runner who rushed for his 53rd career touchdown in this weekendâ€™s win over South Carolina, Tebow currently has a 154.0 QB rating, with 1,730 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The 2009 winner will be presented with the Golden Arm Award on Friday, December 11 at the Tremont Grand Meeting & Banquet Facility in Downtown Baltimore. Joining the eveningâ€™s festivities will be a number of former Baltimore Colts teammates of Johnny Unitas, along with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr.
Last yearâ€™s winner of the Golden Arm Award was Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. Other past winners include Matt Ryan (Boston College), who is now with the Atlanta Falcons; Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), now with the Cleveland Browns; the Arizona Cardinalsâ€™ Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003) of the New York Giants; the Cincinnati Bengalsâ€™ Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); and the Indianapolis Coltsâ€™ Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997).
â€œWhen you consider how many great college QBs have won the Golden Arm Award and have gone on to play in the NFL, it is clear that this award has become a significant barometer for future success in the professional ranks,â€ says John C. Unitas, Jr., President of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history which has earned him the recognition of being the greatest quarterback to ever play in the National Football League. An 18-year veteran of the NFL, Unitas played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville (1951-1954), passing for 3007 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Unitas began his pro career with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and played there 17 years until joining the San Diego Chargers for his final season. His career passing figures include completing 2,830 of 5,186 passes for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns. 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 NFLâ€™s 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries, he was honored as the GREATEST QUARTERBACK OF ALL TIME. Unitas was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
Proceeds from the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.
Sponsors of the Golden Arm Award include Baltimoreâ€™s Tremonts, Black & Decker, Century Engineering, Comcast Cable, Dunbar Armored, First Mariner Bank, MedStar Union Memorial Sports Medicine, MyAdBox, R2i.ntegrated, Southwest Airlines, Sports Legends Museum, and Weiss PR Associates, Inc.