MORGANTOWN, W.Va West Virginia University redshirt senior quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Will Grier has been named one of 11 finalists for the 2018 Manning Award, as announced by the organization on Thursday.
The winner will be named after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.
Manning Award Finalists
• Ian Book, Jr., Notre Dame
• Jake Fromm, So., Georgia
• Will Grier, West Virginia
• Dwayne Haskins, So., Ohio State
• D’Eriq King, Jr., Houston
• Trevor Lawrence, Fr., Clemson
• Drew Lock, Sr., Missouri
• McKenzie Milton, Jr., UCF
• Gardner Minshew, Washington State
• Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
• Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Grier has led the Mountaineers to an 8-3 (6-3 Big 12) record and a No. 15/16 national ranking. He has passed for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns and also has scored three on the ground.
Grier also has been named a Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year Award finalist, Maxwell Award finalist, a top-5 finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.
For the season, he has completed 266-of-397 passes for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Charlotte native has thrown for 300 or more yards in 19 of his 22 games at WVU and has thrown multiple touchdown passes 20 times.
He is ranked No. 2 nationally in touchdowns passes per game (3.4) and passing yards per game (351.3), tied for second in passing touchdowns (37), No. 3 in yards per attempt (9.7), No. 4 in pass efficiency (175.5) and total passing yards (3,864), No. 5 in points responsible for (242), No. 6 in total offense (343.1), No. 7 in completions per game (24.2), No. 8 in passing yards per completion (14.5) and No. 15 in completion percentage (.670).
Statistically, the group of finalists excels in nearly every category as they average more than 3,000 yards passing while accounting for a total of 399 touchdowns. The group has thrown more than five times as many touchdown passes as interceptions. In addition, five of the finalists ran for five or more rushing touchdowns. All 11 have led their teams to bowl eligibility.
The list includes four juniors, three seniors, three sophomores and one freshman. The finalists are distributed between six different conferences: the SEC leads the way with three selections while the AAC and Big 12 have two each and the ACC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and the Independents have one.
In its first 14 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) joins the Southeastern Conference (Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) with four Manning Award wins each, while Texas is the only school with two different winners (McCoy and Young).