In addition to being named to the Manning Award Watch List, the Los Angeles native has been selected to six other preseason watch lists: the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, College Football Performance, Davey O’Brien, American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, Wuerffel Trophy and the Maxwell Award.
Kaaya earned the preseason honor after he posted a strong sophomore season in which he threw for over 3,000 yards for the second straight year, passed for 16 touchdowns and had just five interceptions. Kaaya was one of just three players nationally to throw for 3,000-or-more yards, 10-or-more touchdowns and five-or-fewer interceptions.
Following the 2015 season, Kaaya earned All-ACC Third-Team honors from the coaches and Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He enters his junior season with 6,436 career-passing yards and stands fifth on the all-time list at Miami. He needs just 3,130 yards to become the Hurricanes’ all-time passing leader.
The winner of the Manning Award will be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and standout quarterbacks Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, after the bowl season is complete.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl, in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, created the Manning Award. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
In its first 12 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 11 different schools and from four different conferences.
In addition to the Manning Award's yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week. Fifty-six players from 53 different schools were honored during the 2015 season.