Davey O'Brien Award Watch List 2014: Full List and Bleacher Report Favorites

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Davey O'Brien Award Watch List 2014: Full List and Bleacher Report Favorites
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The watch list for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award was released Wednesday, consisting of 39 players from all 11 FBS football conferences (Independents included).

Among the included players are last year's recipient and five other returning semifinalists. Despite numerous attempts, no player has won the award twice since Oklahoma's Jason White in 2003-04.

Here is the full 2014 watch list:

2014 Davey O'Brien Award Watch List
Player Class School Conference
Anthony Boone Senior Duke ACC
Terrance Broadway Senior UL-Lafayette Sun Belt
Shane Carden Senior East Carolina C-USA
Rakeem Cato Senior Marshall C-USA
Connor Cook Junior Michigan State Big Ten
Jeff Driskel Junior Florida SEC
Cody Fajardo Senior Nevada MWC
Devin Gardner Senior Michigan Big Ten
Jared Goff Sophomore California Pac-12
Everett Golson Junior Notre Dame Independent
Garrett Grayson Senior Colorado St. MWC
Christian Hackenberg Sophomore Penn St. Big Ten
Connor Halliday Senior Washington St. Pac-12
Grant Hedrick Senior Boise St. MWC
Taylor Heinicke Senior Old Dominion C-USA
Taysom Hill Senior BYU Independent
Kevin Hogan Senior Stanford Pac-12
Brett Hundley Junior UCLA Pac-12
Matt Johnson Junior Bowling Green MAC
Chuckie Keeton Senior Utah St. MWC
Taylor Kelly Senior Arizona St. Pac-12
Cody Kessler Junior USC Pac-12
Trevor Knight Sophomore Oklahoma Big 12
Sean Mannion Senior Oregon St. Pac-12
Marcus Mariota Junior Oregon Pac-12
Nick Marshall Senior Auburn SEC
Hutson Mason Senior Georgia SEC
Braxton Miller Senior Ohio St. Big Ten
John O'Korn Sophomore Houston AAC
Bryce Petty Senior Baylor Big 12
Dak Prescott Junior Mississippi St. SEC
Keenan Reynolds Junior Navy Independent
Joel Stave Junior Wisconsin Big Ten
P.J. Walker Sophomore Temple AAC
Bo Wallace Senior Ole Miss SEC
J.W. Walsh Junior Oklahoma St. Big 12
Jake Waters Senior Kansas St. Big 12
Davis Webb Sophomore Texas Tech Big 12
Jameis Winston Sophomore Florida St. ACC

Source: Daveyobrien.org

Need some favorites to look out for?

Here are five guys who stick out as particularly good candidates, along with one looming sleeper and some other names to watch.

 

Jameis Winston, Florida State

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Like a title belt in boxing, the Davey O'Brien Award (and Heisman Trophy) belongs to Jameis Winston until someone comes and takes it from him. He is the rightful favorite to repeat in 2014.

Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw are gone, but three-time leading receiver Rashad Greene returns alongside a deep group of talented (albeit unproven) playmakers. Keep an eye on true freshmen Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph to emerge during fall camp.

 

Marcus Mariota, Oregon/Braxton Miller, Ohio State

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Lumped together because they were both finalists for the award in 2012, Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Ohio State's Braxton Miller are favorites to compete for the Davey O'Brien once again in 2014.

Both are losing a number of their top weapons—whether it be backfield mates or receiving targets—this season, but as dual-threat quarterbacks on teams projected to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff, it is hard to find a pair of more qualified candidates.

 

Brett Hundley, UCLA

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Speaking of dual-threat quarterbacks expected to compete for a spot in the playoff, UCLA junior Brett Hundley has been good—and borderline great—these past two seasons despite never really getting a fair shake. The offensive line has crumbled due to injuries in front of him, and the playmakers have been so-so at best.

This year, Hundley should have the best supporting cast he's had in this three years as a starter. He should also have a defense capable of winning the Pac-12 and competing for a national title. Combined with Hundley's talent, that is the recipe for an award winner.

 

Bryce Petty, Baylor

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Baylor's offense continues to run in the post-Robert Griffin III era, and if last year was any indication, Bryce Petty has a chance to be every bit as good as the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner.

The Bears defense is a question mark once again—albeit not in the same way it has been in recent years—and the stable of playmakers around Petty, led by senior receiver Antwan Goodley, is amenable to a huge statistical season from the senior quarterback.

 

Sleeper: Davis Webb, Texas Tech

USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury made the news this offseason when he told Bruce Feldman of FoxSports.com that his quarterback, Davis Webb, a true sophomore who didn't even start in Week 1 last season, has the potential to become a top-five NFL draft pick.

Webb is 6'5" with an accurate arm and has been adding weight to a slender-ish frame this offseason. He also plays in a passing-heavy system with talented playmakers around him and a defense that will necessitate some shootouts to win games.

Webb finished No. 12 in ESPN's Total QBR metric last season.

 

Other Names to Watch: Taylor Kelly (Arizona State), Trevor Knight (Oklahoma), Nick Marshall (Auburn), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State).

 

Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT

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