Jake Browning, Jalen Hurts Headline 2018 Davey O'Brien Award Watch List

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

Washington quarterback Jake Browning (3) scrambles against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Washington's Jake Browning and Alabama's Jalen Hurts headline the watch list for the 2018 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, which was released Tuesday.

Both Browning and Hurts are two-time semifinalists for the award.

Other former semifinalists on the list include Clemson's Kelly Bryant, Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald, West Virginia's Will Grier, Penn State's Trace McSorley, UCF's McKenzie Milton and Arizona's Khalil Tate.

The other quarterbacks on the 26-player list are Jake Bentley (South Carolina), Mason Fine (North Texas), Ryan Finley (NC State), Andrew Ford (UMass), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Justice Hansen (Arkansas State), Justin Herbert (Oregon), Alex Hornibrook (Wisconsin), Tyree Jackson (Buffalo), Daniel Jones (Duke), Kyle Kempt (Iowa State), Brian Lewerke (Michigan State), Drew Lock (Missouri), Nathan Rourke (Ohio), Brett Rypien (Boise State), Jarrett Stidham (Auburn), Brent Stockstill (Middle Tennessee) and Manny Wilkins (Arizona State).

Browning has been a highly productive player in recent seasons and is the starter at Washington, but Hurts' inclusion may raise eyebrows.

While Hurts has been Alabama's starter for the past two seasons and led the Crimson Tide to consecutive appearances in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, he isn't guaranteed to start in 2018 over Tua Tagovailoa.

After Tagovailoa relieved Hurts in last season's title game and led Bama to a win over Georgia, he may be in line to supplant Hurts.

Another notable name missing from the list is Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who is in the midst of a quarterback competition with Bryant.

Per OddsShark, Tagovailoa and Lawrence were listed in June as the quarterbacks with the best chance to win the Heisman Trophy at 9-1.

Michigan's Shea Patterson (20-1) and Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins (22-1) were also excluded from the watch list.

Winning the Davey O'Brien Award is usually a good indicator of Heisman Trophy candidacy—as well as being a high NFL draft pick.

Of the past seven different players to win the Davey O'Brien Award, six have also won the Heisman.

Those seven were also first-round draft picks.

That includes Baker Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy last season at Oklahoma and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

For the 2018 Davey O'Brien Award, semifinalists will be named Nov. 6, followed by three finalists Nov. 19.

The winner will be revealed as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6.