Yates is entering his third year as Carolina's starting quarterback. In 2007, he set the UNC single-season record with 2,655 yards and had 14 touchdowns. Last year, he was off to a great start before fracturing his ankle in the third game of the year vs. Virginia Tech. He missed five games before returning. Yates has completed 299 of 500 career attempts for 3,823 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, includes 38 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2009 season. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a February banquet in New Orleans.
"We have another great class of quarterbacks this season," said Archie Manning. "We have 38 quarterbacks on our Watch List, but there are any number of other guys who could step into the picture as the season gets going. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch another tremendous college football season."
"We have had the opportunity to recognize five outstanding quarterbacks with the Manning Award," said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO. "It is truly a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor this award and we wish the best of luck to every quarterback and team in the country for another great year of college football."
While the preseason Watch List includes just 38 quarterbacks, 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. Ten finalists will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings. That list will be released on Monday, Nov. 30. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 14.
The first four winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who's Who list at the quarterback position. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.
It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
2009 Manning Award Watch List
Austen Arnaud (Jr., Iowa State)
Sam Bradford (Jr., Oklahoma)
Levi Brown (Sr., Troy)
Darryll Clark (Sr., Penn State)
Jimmy Clausen (Jr., Notre Dame)
Andy Dalton (Sr., TCU)
Austin Davis (So., Southern Miss)
Armanti Edwards (Sr., Appalachian State)
Robert Griffin III (So., Baylor)
Matt Grothe (Sr., USF)
Max Hall (Sr., BYU)
Tim Hiller (Sr., Western Michigan)
Jerrod Johnson (Jr., Texas A&M)
Colin Kaepernick (Jr., Nevada)
Case Keenum (Jr., Houston)
Dan LeFevour (Sr., Central Michigan)
Corey Leonard (Sr., Arkansas State)
Thaddeus Lewis (Sr., Duke)
Ryan Lindley (So., San Diego State)
Jake Locker (Jr., Washington)
Jeremiah Masoli (Jr., Oregon)
Colt McCoy (Sr., Texas)
Kellen Moore (So., Boise State)
Tony Pike (Sr., Cincinnati)
Terrelle Prior (So., Ohio State)
Todd Reesing (Sr., Kansas)
Zac Robinson (Sr., Oklahoma State)
Tyler Sheehan (Sr., Bowling Green)
Riley Skinner (Sr., Wake Forest)
Rusty Smith (Sr., Florida Atlantic)
Jevan Snead (Jr., Ole Miss)
Ricky Stanzi (Jr., Iowa)
Tim Tebow (Sr., Florida)
Trevor Vittatoe (Jr., UTEP)
Adam Weber (Jr., Minnesota)
Juice Williams (Sr., Illinois)
Russell Wilson (So., N.C. State)
T.J. Yates (Jr., North Carolina)