Included among the list of candidates for the award are: Major Applewhite (Texas), Dusty Bonner (Valdosta State), Seth Burford (Cal Poly), David Carr (Fresno State), Eric Crouch (Nebraska), Ronald Curry (North Carolina), Woodrow Dantzler (Clemson), Rohan Davey (LSU), K.C. Enzminger (New Mexico State), Randy Fasani (Stanford), David Garrard (East Carolina), George Godsey (Georgia Tech), Kurt Kittner (Illinois), Zak Kustok (Northwestern), Wayne Madkin (Mississippi State), J.T. O'Sullivan (Cal Davis), Phil Petty (South Carolina), Patrick Ramsey (Tulane), Antwaan Randle El (Indiana), and Jonathan Smith (Oregon State).
All candidates must be completing their college eligibility this season to be eligible for The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Candidates are judged upon citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.
The committee will choose five finalists plus any ties and announce the list on Oct. 24. The 2001 recipient will then be announced Nov. 20, with the award presentation to be made in Louisville on December 7. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas will attend the ceremony to make the official presentation at the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel in Louisville.
Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke won the award last year. Other past recipients include Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1987), Rodney Peete (USC, 1988), Tony Rice (Notre Dame, 1989), Craig Erickson (Miami, Fla., 1990), Casey Weldon (Florida St., 1991), Gino Torretta (Miami, Fla., 1992), Charlie Ward (Florida St., 1993), Jay Barker (Alabama, 1994), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska, 1995), Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996), Payton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Cade McNown (UCLA, 1998) and Chris Redman (Louisville, 1999).