The watch list for the 2011 Manning Award, an honor named after Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, was released on Monday and representing the University of Southern California is none other than junior quarterback Matt Barkley.
Barkley was one of 31 quarterbacks and five Pac-12 Conference quarterbacks selected to the Manning watch list, which holds the distinction of being the only major quarterback award that takes into account the candidates' bowl performance during the balloting process.
"College football is the greatest sport out there and it's always fun to take a look at all the quarterbacks in the country and speculate on who will be the best," Archie Manning said. "But even the process of narrowing it down to 31 guys was challenging and I have no doubt that plenty of other quarterbacks will jump into the picture as the season goes on. I'm looking forward to simply sitting back and enjoying another great season."
Other Pac-12 quarterbacks named to the watch list include Arizona's Nick Foles, Stanford's Andrew Luck, Oregon's Darren Thomas and Utah's Jordan Wynn.
While the national spotlight is on Luck after a superb 2010 season in which he was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and a finalist for numerous other awards, the man leading the Men of Troy should not be counted out.
Barkley is coming off of a very good year in which he passed for 26 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions to go along with 2,791 yards passing.
In 2011, the USC signal caller is expected to even better with a blossoming group of elite receiving talents with star-in-the-making quality headlined by former five-star recruits Robert Woods, Kyle Prater and freshman George Farmer.
The talent surrounding Barkley is so promising and the quarterback himself has continued to demonstrate exemplary poise and decision making at the position that many expect the him to be a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy when the 2011 college football season is all said and done.
Check out the full 2011 Manning Award watch list below.
2011 Manning Award Watch List
- Matt Barkley JR USC
- Tyler Bray SO Tennessee
- Alex Carder JR Western Michigan
- Zach Collaros SR Cincinnati
- Kirk Cousins SR Michigan State
- Austin Davis SR Southern Miss
- Dominique Davis SR East Carolina
- Nick Foles JR Arizona
- Robert Griffin JR Baylor
- Chandler Harnish SR Northern Illinois
- Landry Jones JR Oklahoma
- Case Keenum SR Houston
- G.J. Kinne JR Tulsa
- Ryan Lindley SR San Diego State
- Andrew Luck JR Stanford
- Taylor Martinez SO Nebraska
- Bryant Moniz SR Hawaii
- Kellen Moore SR Boise State
- Aaron Murray SO Georgia
- Danny O'Brien SO Maryland
- Kyle Padron JR SMU
- Dan Persa SR Northwestern
- Chris Relf SR Mississippi State
- Corey Robinson SO Troy
- Denard Robinson JR Michigan
- Geno Smith JR West Virginia
- Tino Sunseri JR Pittsburgh
- Ryan Tannehill SR Texas A&M
- Darren ThomasJR Oregon
- Brandon Weeden SR Oklahoma State
- Jordan Wynn JR Utah
© 2011 Neal J. Leitereg -- All Rights Reserved