Baylor senior Bryce Petty, Kansas State senior Jake Waters, redshirt sophomore Trevor Knight of Oklahoma and sophomore Davis Webb of Texas Tech are among 32 Division I quarterbacks who are early 2014 candidates for the award.
Petty, the 2013 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year as well as the 2014 preseason choice of the media covering the conference to repeat as the Player of the Year, has already been named to several watch lists for the coming season, including the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
The Baylor quarterback was the national leader in 2013 in yards per completion (16.80) and passing efficiency and led the Bears to their first Big 12 championship in football last season.
Kansas State’s Waters is the second Wildcat quarterback in the last several seasons to become a candidate for the Manning Award. Collin Klein was one of the 10 finalists for the award in 2012. Over the final seven games of the season a year ago, Waters led his team to an 6-1 record, averaging 204 passing yards per game and 14 touchdown passes. K-State’s only loss during that time was to QB Trevor Knight and Oklahoma.
Knight had a rocky start to the 2013 season at Oklahoma as a redshirt freshman quarterback. He came on strong at the end of the year, however, capping off the season with a 300-yard-plu passing game and three touchdowns in the Sooners surprising two-touchdown win in the Sugar Bowl over two-time defending champion Alabama.
As a freshman, Texas Tech’s Webb was the Most Valuable Player in the Red Raiders’ Holiday Bowl win last season over Arizona State. Webb passes for 403 yard and four touchdowns in the bowl victory.
The Manning Award was initiated in the 2004 season and is the only national quarterback award that includes postseason results. The award is named in honor of former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning and his two sons, Peyton and Eli, both of whom are currently playing in the NFL.