After a solid finish to his freshman
campaign, Jefferson earned the nod as the
LSU starter for 2009 and threw for over 2,000 yards with 17 touchdowns
seven interceptions while registering eight wins.
He was the second youngest quarterback to start a season opener for LSU, leading the Tigers to a road win over Washington. Jefferson's 17 touchdowns tied for eighth in the LSU single-season annals, while his 182 completions ranked ninth in school history.
“It’s very crucial for me to be a leader,” Jefferson said.
“I have high goals for myself and I’m ready to accomplish those
things. I learned a lot last year. We weren’t quite as successful last
year. My wisdom has gotten better from my failure in certain games, and
I’m looking to be a leader for these guys and enjoy my time at LSU. I am
going to make sure the seniors leave the field on a good note.”
Jefferson and the Tigers will open the season against North Carolina in the Chick fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 4 in Atlanta.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances.
Ten finalists will be selected in late-November and the winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans.
The preseason watch list recognizes some of the top quarterbacks in the nation based on previous collegiate performance, however, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible for the honor. Additional quarterbacks may be added to the watch list after the start of the season.
The list of 10 finalists will be released on Monday, Nov. 29. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 19.