NORMAN, Okla. -- One of the top freshman in the nation last year after being thrown into the fire after an injury to Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 NFL Draft pick Sam Bradford, Oklahoma's Landry Jones is expected to show major improvement following his on-the-job training last year. Jones is the 23rd quarterback named to the Manning Award Preseason Watch List for this year.
The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, is releasing the Watch List one player per day through its official Facebook and Twitter pages. The award has honored the top quarterback in the nation for the past six years.??
Jones expected to see mop-up duty only last year, with Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford manning the quarterback slot for the Sooners. However, a shoulder injury in the season-opener against BYU put Bradford on the bench and Jones in the lineup for the bulk of the season.
The redshirt freshman connected on 58 percent of his passes with 26 touchdowns and 3,198 yards - breaking Bradford's freshman record for the school. He registered eight games with 250 passing yards and six with multiple touchdown passes, capping his debut campaign with a Sooner bowl-record 418 passing yards in a 31-27 Sun Bowl win over Stanford.
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.