Holbrook burst onto the national scene in 2006, leading his team as the Aggies starting quarterback in all 12 games. On the season Holbrook finished the year with 4,619 yards passing and 4,541 yards of total offense, both NCAA records for a sophomore and school records for a single-season. He ranked second in the nation in total offense per game 378.4, while leading the Aggie offense to a number two ranking in the nation in passing offense per game with 399.3 yards, third in total offense with 475.1 yards per game, 12th in passing efficiency (155.06) and 15th in the country in scoring offense with 31.1 points per game.
”It’s obviously an honor to be named to the Manning Award preseason watch list,” Holbrook said. “The other players on this list are all great quarterbacks and I’m honored to be considered part of such an elite group.”
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, and will be presented to the recipient following the holiday bowl season. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances.
The winner will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Manning’s.
“We have another talented group of quarterbacks to watch from coast to coast,” Archie Manning said. “We’ve had some phenomenal players earn this award so far and this year should be no exception.”
Making this year’s Manning Award watch list are: Chase Holbrook (New Mexico State), Eric Ainge (Tennessee), Taylor Bennett (Georgia Tech), John David Booty (USC), Colt Brennan (Hawaii), Alex Brink (Washington St.), Brian Brohm (Louisville), Rudy Carpenter (Arizona St.), Brandon Cox (Auburn), Chase Daniel (Missouri), Nate Davis (Ball St.), Dennis Dixon (Oregon), Matt Flynn (LSU), Matt Groethe (South Florida), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Chad Henne (Michigan), Rocky Hinds (UNLV), Sam Keller (Nebraska), Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan), Nate Longshore (California), Colt McCoy (Texas), Blake Mitchell (South Carolina), Anthony Morelli (Penn St.), Curtis Painter (Purdue), Bobby Reid (Oklahoma St.), Matt Ryan (Boston College), Paul Smith (Tulsa), Matt Stafford (Georgia), Adam Tafralis (San Jose St.), Tim Tebow (Florida), Patrick White (West Virginia), Juice Williams (Illinois), Justin Willis (SMU), John Parker Wilson (Alabama), and Andre Woodson (Kentucky).
The first three 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. Last season, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award, capped by his performance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. All three players went on to become first round draft picks in the NFL.
Finalists for the award will be announced prior to the beginning of the bowl season.