Four quarterbacks from the Big 12 Conference have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the student-athlete deemed by the Davey O'Brien Foundation at season's end as the country's best college quarterback.
The four Big 12 honorees, all from former Big 12 South schools, are Landry Jones of Oklahoma, Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, Robert Griffin III from Baylor and Texas A&M signal-caller Ryan Tannehill. Jones, Weeden and Griffin were the top three QBs in the conference a year ago in passing efficiency and first, second and fourth, respectively, in average passing yards per game. Tannehill, who played quarterback at A&M his freshman and sophomore but was moved to wide receiver to begin his junior year, took over at quarterback for Jerrod Johnson after the Missouri game last season and only played at the QB position for half of the season.
Weeden and Tannehill are seniors this year, Jones and Griffin are beginning their junior years of eligibility. Weeden and Jones were O'Brien semifinalists last year.
Players on the watch list are selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2011 college football season, according to information put out by the Big 12 office.
Appearing on the watch list, however, is not a requirement for a player to receive the O'Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 120 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools are eligible until the candidate list is narrowed to 16 semifinalists, which will happen on Oct. 24. The list is further lowered to three finalists, which will be revealed in late November. The winner of the 2011 O'Brien Award will be announced on the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 8