Durant Makes O'Brien Award Watch List

FORT WORTH, Texas - University of North Carolina junior quarterback Darian Durant has been named to the 2003 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award watch list. The award is given annually to the nation's top college quarterback.

Last season, Durant led the ACC in total offense per game, averaging 285.8 yards per contest. Durant enters the 2003 season within striking distance of several Carolina career records. Durant is first in career completion percentage (.614), second in career pass efficiency (147.14), tied for second in career touchdown passes (33), fourth in career passing yards (3,966) sixth in career total offense (4,255) and seventh in career pass completions (289).

As a freshman in 2001, Durant shared playing time with senior Ronald Curry, helping lead the Tar Heels to an 8-5 record and a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. Durant set UNC freshmen single-season records in passing yards and total offense.

Last season, Durant became the first Tar Heel since Paul Miller in 1971 to lead the ACC in total offense. Durant threw for over 2,100 yards, but missed four games with a broken thumb. He came back from the injury to lead Carolina to a thrilling 23-21 victory over Duke in the last game of the season. Durant completed a pass on fourth down to set up Dan Orner's game-winning field goal against the Blue Devils.

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, the All-American and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for Texas Christian University who led the Horned Frogs to the 1938 national championship.

Semifinalists will be announced in early November and narrowed to three finalists later in that month by the O'Brien National Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of nationally known sportswriters, commentators and other members of the media. The winner of the 2003 O'Brien Award will be announced Dec. 11 on the ESPN College Football Awards Show from Orlando, Fla. The winner will be honored at the 27th annual O'Brien Awards Dinner in February 2004, at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 42 candidates on the watch list:
Asad Abdul-Khaliq Sr. Minnesota
Brock Berlin Jr. Miami
Jon Beutjer Sr. Illinois
Casey Bramlet Sr. Wyoming
Timmy Chang Jr. Hawaii
Casey Clausen Sr. Tennessee
Ryan Dinwiddie Sr. Boise State
Darian Durant Jr. North Carolina
Josh Fields Jr. Oklahoma State
David Greene Jr. Georgia
Gino Guidugli Jr. Cincinnati
Darrell Hackney So. UAB
Adam Hall Sr. San Diego State
Chance Harridge Sr. Air Force
Josh Harris Sr. Bowling Green
Carlyle Holiday Sr. Notre Dame
Craig Krenzel Sr. Ohio State
Jammal Lord Sr. Nebraska
Jared Lorenzen Sr. Kentucky
J.P. Losman Sr. Tulane
Matt LoVecchio Jr. Indiana
Scott McBrien Sr. Maryland
Luke McCown Sr. Louisiana Tech
Rasheed Marshall Jr. West Virginia
Eli Manning Sr. Ole Miss
Zack Mills Jr. Penn State
John Navarre Sr. Michigan
Kyle Orton Jr. Purdue
Cody Pickett Sr. Washington
Bryan Randall Jr. Virginia Tech
Philip Rivers Sr. North Carolina State
Chris Rix Jr. Florida State
Ell Roberson Sr. Kansas State
Ben Roethlisberger Jr. Miami (Ohio)
Rod Rutherford Sr. Pittsburgh
Matt Schaub Sr. Virginia
Ryan Schneider Sr. Central Florida
Brad Smith Soph. Missouri
Bradlee Van Pelt Sr. Colorado State
Andrew Walter Jr. Arizona State
Bill Whittemore Sr. Kansas
Danny Wimprine Jr. Memphis

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