FORT WORTH (October 22, 2012) -- Baylor quarterback Nick Florence and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel have been selected as two of 16 semifinalists for the 2012 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, as announced by the award’s foundation Monday.
The Davey O’Brien Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. Florence’s former teammate Robert Griffin III was named a semifinalist in 2010 and 2011, and RG3 went on to win the 2011 Davey O’Brien Award.
Semifinalists were chosen by the O’Brien National Selection Committee, with the fan vote accounting for 5 percent of the total vote. The committee was asked to consider quarterback skills, academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship.
Florence finished second in the fan vote, garnering 11 percent of all votes with 9,179. He trailed only Tyler Wilson of Arkansas (12,499) and finished nearly 800 votes ahead of West Virginia’s Geno Smith (8,405). RG3 finished third in the initial fan vote a season ago.
Three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19, and the winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards airing Dec. 6, on ESPN. The 36th Annual Davey O’Brian Awards Dinner will be held on Feb. 18, in Fort Worth, Texas.
For the second straight season, there are five Big 12 quarterbacks among the 16 semifinalists that were trimmed from a list of 124 candidates. Florence is joined by Smith (West Virginia), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), Seth Doege (Texas Tech) and Collin Klein (Kansas State). Klein finished 14th in the fan vote, followed by Doege in 15th and Jones in 25th place.
A Garland, Texas, native, Florence has completed 142 of 217 passes for 2,226 yards and 20 touchdowns in six games this season. Florence leads the nation in total offense (407.2 yards per game), ranks second nationally in passing yards (371.0 per game) and points responsibility (24.0 per game) and third in passing efficiency (172.8).
He passed for a school-record 581 yards and a career-best five touchdowns on Sept. 29 at No. 7 West Virginia, and he rushed for two TDs and passed for two more in Saturday’s game at No. 25 Texas.
Florence currently ranks eighth all-time at Baylor in both passing yards (4,218) and passing touchdowns (28), and he is tied for seventh in career TD responsibility (35). He has completed 15 passes of 40 or more yards this season, including nine for touchdowns and seven for 50 or more yards.
In the NCAA FBS statistics, Manziel ranks No. 3 in total offense (379.9 yards per game), tied for No. 4 in points responsible for (20.6 points per game) and No. 15 in passing (279.4 yards per game). He is the NCAA’s top freshman in all three categories.
Already this season, Manziel has broken the Southeastern Conference record for single game total offense twice. He broke the old SEC record of 540 set originally by Archie Manning of Ole Miss in 1969 and matched by Rohan Davey of LSU in 2001 with 557 total yards against Arkansas. He broke it against two games later with 576 total yards against Louisiana Tech.
Manziel’s strong play has helped the Aggies to a 5-2 overall record and a No. 20 ranking in the most recent Bowl Championship Series standings. He leads the Aggies with 703 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and 1,956 passing yards with 14 scores.
2012 Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalists:
Matt Barkley, USC
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech
Seth Doege, Texas Tech
Nick Florence, Baylor
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Collin Klein, Kansas State
EJ Manuel, Florida State
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
AJ McCarron, Alabama
Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Aaron Murray, Georgia
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Geno Smith, West Virginia