Whitehurst Among Award Finalists

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Davey O'Brien Foundation today announced the pre-season watch list for the 2005 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback.

The O'Brien Award is the oldest and most prestigious award in the country for college quarterbacks and is named in honor of the late Davey O'Brien. O'Brien led the TCU Horned Frogs to the 1938 national championship and was the first player to win the Heisman, Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards in one season.

The thirty three candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

Erik Ainge, Tennessee
John Beck, BYU
Corey Bramlet, Wyoming
Brian Brohm, Louisville
Shaun Carney, Air Force
Kellen Clemens, Oregon
Brodie Croyle, Alabama
Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt
Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo
Tye Gunn, TCU
Darrell Hackney, UAB
Marques Hagans, Virginia
Chad Henne, Michigan
Justin Holland, Colorado State
Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green
Steven Jyles, Louisiana-Monroe
Kevin Kold, Houston
Chris Leak, Florida
Matt Leinart, USC
Clint Marks, Middle Tenn. St.
Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M
Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh
Jordan Palmer, UTEP
Paul Pinegar, Fresno State
Quinton Porter, Boston College
Jeff Rowe, Nevada
Brad Smith, Missouri
Drew Stanton, Michigan State
Drew Tate, Iowa
Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech
Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson
Vince Young, Texas
Jared Zabransky, Boise State

Semifinalists will be announced in early November as voted on by the O'Brien Selection Committee, a nationwide panel of sportswriters and commentators, as well as former O'Brien Award winners. The committee will then narrow the field to three finalists and then the winner. The winner of the 2005 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award will be announced on the Home Depot College Football Awards Show at 7 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005 and will be honored Feb. 20, 2006, at the 29th annual Davey O'Brien Awards Dinner at The Fort Worth Club in downtown Fort Worth. Air transportation is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

The Davey O'Brien Foundation was established in 1977 to present the O'Brien Memorial Trophy, recognizing annually the outstanding college football player in the five southwestern states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. In 1981, the award was redirected to be national in scope but limited to quarterback, the favorite position of the award's namesake, Davey O'Brien. The award carries with it a $10,000 grant to the scholarship program of the university in which the winner is enrolled. A high school scholarship program began in 1986, awarding annually a $20,000 college scholarship to an outstanding senior student-athlete in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Since 1977 the Davey O'Brien Foundation has awarded over $248,000 to the various O'Brien winners' universities and more than $380,000 to deserving high school students.

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