Chad Kelly Makes Watch List Cut for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
Oct. 13, 2016

BALTIMORE, Md. – After making the initial list in August, Ole Miss senior Chad Kelly remains on the watch list for the 2016 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award®, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., announced Thursday (Oct. 13). The list was cut down from 43 quarterbacks to 15 in search of the country’s top QB.

Named after one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and established in 1987, this prestigious award is presented annually at the end of each season to the nation’s top college quarterback based on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments. Candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class.

Kelly has been a leader for the Rebels ever since he arrived on campus two years ago, quickly taking the reins of the offense as the team’s starting quarterback. In his first season, the Buffalo, New York, native broke or tied 14 school records on his way to leading Ole Miss to the 2016 Sugar Bowl victory in which he earned MVP honors. This year, Kelly continues to rewrite the Ole Miss record books. He has thrown a touchdown in a school-record 18 straight games and has 11 career 300-yard passing games, which also ties a program best. Currently, he is one of five quarterbacks in the country to rank among the top 20 nationally in all five of the following categories: total offense, passing, pass efficiency, completion percentage and yards per attempt.

Off the field, Kelly has a grade point average above 3.0 and has twice participated in spring break mission trips to Haiti, where he has helped the villagers of Camp Marie gain access to clean water and a sustainable irrigation system for farming. He is also one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who have notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition.



Past standout winners of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award® include: Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997); Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003); Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006); Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007); Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009); Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011); Marcus Mariota (University of Oregon, 2014) and last year’s winner, Connor Cook (Michigan State, 2015).

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award® will be presented at a ceremony on December 9, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. For the 2016 Golden Arm Award ceremony, The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. is happy to be returning to the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel & The Grand.

Proceeds from the event help support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, which provides assistance to underprivileged and deserving student-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.

In addition, sponsors of the Golden Arm Award include: Under Armour, 120 Sports, The Babe Ruth and Sports Legends Museum, Baltimore Sun Media Group, Campus Insiders, Century Engineering, Coach for America, Comcast, Dunbar Armored and Dunbar Cybersecurity, Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & The Grand, Haddock Investments, Harvey Agency, HMS Insurance Associates, Inc., Metropolis Funding, PSAV, Panini, SILKS, Tray Inc., The Scott Garceau Show, MedStar Union Memorial Sports Medicine, Wilson Sporting Goods and ZBest Executive & Global Transportation Services.

To learn more about the Golden Arm Award, visit Additionally, follow the conversation throughout the season on Twitter @GoldenArmAward or use the hashtag, #GoldenArmAward.

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB), Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit

2016 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List

  • J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
  • Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
  • Luke Falk, Washington State
  • Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
  • Trevor Knight, Texas A&M
  • Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
  • Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
  • Cooper Rush, Central Michigan
  • Seth Russell, Baylor
  • Zach Terrell, Western Michigan
  • Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
  • Greg Ward, Jr., Houston
  • Deshaun Watson, Clemson
  • Davis Webb, California




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