Alabama's Mac Jones was announced Tuesday as the winner of the 2020 Manning Award as the top quarterback in college football after leading the Crimson Tide to the national championship.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl, which hands out the honor, released a statement from Archie Manning. He is one of the award's voters along with his sons, Peyton and Eli, and media members. The elder Manning said:
"It was quite a year for Mac Jones and the Alabama football team. We had a lot of outstanding quarterbacks around the country, but I don't think any player directed his offense as efficiently and as effectively as Mac. The Crimson Tide's performance all year was so impressive; and seeing them roll to wins in the Rose Bowl and the CFP Championship really showed what an amazing team they have put together. And a lot of credit for that goes to Mac, who bided his time before taking over and showing the country what he could do."
Jones inherited the Tide offense late in 2019 after an injury to Tua Tagovailoa, and that experience helped him hit the ground running in his first full year as the starter.
The 22-year-old completed a staggering 77.4 percent of his throws for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions while leading Bama to a perfect 13-0 season, which finished last week with a 52-24 victory over Ohio State in the national title game.
Jones threw for over 400 yards in five games, including the College Football Playoff championship game, and only had one game without a touchdown—a 52-3 blowout of Arkansas in December.
The Manning Award is merely his latest honor to cap a terrific junior season. He also won the Davey O'Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The Florida native was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, finishing third.
"I think we're the best team to ever play," Jones told reporters after the Tide's win over the Buckeyes to finish the undefeated campaign. "There's no team that will ever play an SEC schedule like that again."
Jones, a first-team All-SEC selection, has since declared for the 2021 NFL draft.
Past winners of the Manning Award, which was established in 2004 to honor the three Mannings, make up a who's who of college football quarterbacks during the current millennium. The list includes Vince Young, Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson, the only two-time recipient.