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Davey O'Brien Award: Wikis


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Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award
Awarded for the collegiate American football player adjudged to be the best of all NCAA quarterbacks
Presented by Davey O'Brien Foundation
Country United States
First awarded 1981
Currently held by Colt McCoy
Official Website

The Davey O'Brien Award, officially the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, is presented annually to the collegiate American football player adjudged by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to be the best of all National Collegiate Athletic Association quarterbacks. The award is generally recognized as more prestigious than the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, insofar as the eligibility for the latter is restricted to seniors, and than the Manning Award, insofar as the latter, though open to all quarterbacks, has been given only since 2004 and the Sammy Baugh Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's top college passer, not necessarily the top quarterback. Besides the Sammy Baugh Trophy, the Touchdown Club of Columbus also presents a Quarterback of the Year award to the top quarterback.

The only people to have won the award twice are Danny Wuerffel of Florida, Ty Detmer of Brigham Young, and Jason White of Oklahoma.

In 1977, directly after the death of O'Brien, the award was established as the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy, and was given to the most outstanding player in the now-defunct Southwest Conference. Earl Campbell won the trophy in 1977, Billy Sims in 1978, and Mike Singletary won it twice in 1979 and 1980. In 1980, it was renamed to the Davey O'Brien Award, and from 1981 onwards it has been awarded to the nation's top quarterback annually.


Its eponym

Robert David (Davey) O’Brien was an All-American football player at Texas Christian University, was born in Dallas, Texas on June 22, 1917. As a youth he quarterbacked a sandlot football team self-named the Gaston Avenue Bulldogs, and spent several summers at the Kanakuk Boys’ Kamp near Branson, Missouri. He was a 118-pound, All-State selection who led Woodrow Wilson High School to the state playoffs in 1932. O’Brien enrolled at TCU in 1935 and sat on the bench behind Sammy Baugh. In 1937, O’Brien’s first season as starting quarterback, TCU fell to a mediocre 4-4-2 record, but O’Brien was named to the All-Southwest Conference first team. O’Brien had 1,457 passing yards, a Southwest Conference record that stood for ten years, and only four interceptions in 194 passing attempts.

In 1938, he led the Horned Frogs to their first undefeated season, including a 15-7 victory over Carnegie Tech in the Sugar Bowl, and the national championship. The now 150-pound O’Brien completed 110 of 194 passes for 1,733 yards and 19 touchdowns. O’Brien was named to thirteen All-America teams and became the only college football player to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Walter Camp trophies in the same year. When he went to New York to accept the Heisman Trophy, Amon Carter and other Fort Worth boosters hired a stagecoach to carry him to the Downtown Athletic Club.

After graduating from TCU, O’Brien signed a $10,000 contract with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. In his rookie season with the Eagles, he passed for 1,324 yards in eleven games, breaking fellow TCU alum, Baugh’s, NFL record and was named first-team quarterback on the National Football Leagues’ All-Pro Team. The Eagles gave him a $2,000 raise, but he retired after the 1940 season to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After completing his training, he was assigned to the bureau’s field office in Springfield, MO. O’Brien was a firearms instructor at headquarters in Quantico, VA, and spent the last five years of his FBI career in Dallas. He retired in 1950 and went to work for Haroldson L. Hunt in land development and later entered the oil business working for Dresser-Atlas Industries of Dallas and eventually started his own business.

In 1971 O’Brien was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery to remove a kidney and part of his right lung. He lost his battle with cancer on November 18, 1977. Davey O’Brien was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1956.


Year Player School
1981 Jim McMahon BYU
1982 Todd Blackledge Penn State
1983 Steve Young BYU
1984 Doug Flutie Boston College
1985 Chuck Long Iowa
1986 Vinny Testaverde Miami
1987 Don McPherson Syracuse
1988 Troy Aikman UCLA
1989 Andre Ware Houston
1990 Ty Detmer BYU
1991 Ty Detmer BYU
1992 Gino Torretta Miami
1993 Charlie Ward Florida State
1994 Kerry Collins Penn State
1995 Danny Wuerffel Florida
1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida
1997 Peyton Manning Tennessee
1998 Michael Bishop Kansas State
1999 Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska
2002 Brad Banks Iowa
2003 Jason White Oklahoma
2004 Jason White Oklahoma
2005 Vince Young Texas
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State
2007 Tim Tebow Florida
2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma
2009 Colt McCoy Texas

Trophies won by school

School Winners
Florida 3
Oklahoma 3
Florida State 2
Iowa 2
Miami 2
Penn State 2
Texas 2
Boston College 1
Georgia Tech 1
Houston 1
Kansas State 1
Nebraska 1
Ohio State 1
Syracuse 1
Tennessee 1

External links

See also

College football awards
BEST PLAYER awards: Heisman Memorial Trophy (1935) • Maxwell Award (1937) • SN Player of the Year (1942) • Chic Harley Award (1955) •
Walter Camp Award (1967) • AP Player of the Year (1998) • Archie Griffin Award (1999)
Bill Willis Trophy (defensive lineman)
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defenseman)
Chuck Bednarik Award (Defenseman)
Dave Rimington Trophy (Center)
Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker)
Doak Walker Award (Running back)
Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide receiver)
Freshman of the Year
Jack Lambert Trophy (linebacker)
Jack Tatum Trophy (defensive back)
Jim Brown Trophy (running back)
Jim Parker Trophy (offensive lineman)
Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive back)
College Football Performance Awards (Various positions)
John Mackey Award (Tight end)
Johnny Unitas Award (Senior quarterback)
Lombardi Award (Lineman/linebacker)
Lott Trophy (Defenseman)
Lou Groza Award (Placekicker)
Lowe's Senior CLASS Award (Student-athlete)
Manning Award (Quarterback)
Outland Trophy (Interior lineman)
Paul Warfield Trophy (wide receiver)
Quarterback of the Year
Ray Guy Award (Punter)
Sammy Baugh Trophy (Quarterback)
Ted Hendricks Award (Defensive end)
Tight End of the Year
William V. Campbell Trophy (Student-athlete)
Wuerffel Trophy (Humanitarian-athlete)
COACHING: AFCA Coach of the Year (1935) • Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1957) • SN Coach of the Year (1963) • Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1967) •
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (1976) • Woody Hayes Trophy (1977) • Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year (1986) •
George Munger Award (1989) • Home Depot Coach of the Year (1994) • AP Coach of the Year (1998) • Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2006) •
Broyles Assistant Coach of the YearAFCA Assistant Coach of the Year
DIVISION I FCS awards: Walter Payton Award (Div. I FCS offensive player) • Buck Buchanan Award (Div. I FCS defenseman)
Eddie Robinson Award (Div. I FCS coach)
CONFERENCE awards: Big 12 awardsBig East awardsBig Ten awards (MVP) • MAC awardsPac-10 awardsSEC awards
OTHER DIVISIONS / ASSOCIATIONS: Harlon Hill Trophy (Div. II) • Gagliardi Trophy (Div. III) • Melberger Award (Div. III) • Rawlings Award (NAIA)
MOST INSPIRATIONAL individual or team: Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award
HALL OF FAME: College Football Hall of Fame


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