Kelly Named Semifinalist for Davey O’Brien Award
Nov. 11, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – Despite suffering a season-ending torn ACL and lateral meniscus in the Rebels’ last game, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly has been honored as one of 18 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is presented annually to the best college quarterback.

The 18 semifinalists, in alphabetical order, are: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Jerod Evans (Virginia Tech), Luke Falk (Washington State), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Trevor Knight (Texas A&M), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), Wilton Speight (Michigan), Zach Terrell (Western Michigan), Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina), Greg Ward Jr. (Houston), Deshaun Watson (Clemson) and Davis Webb (California).

Both Kelly and Texas A&M’s Knight were voted into the semifinalist group, but will not be eligible to win the award due to their season-ending injuries. The Rebels travel to College Station to face the Aggies this Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network).

Kelly finished his Ole Miss career with 25 school records, including career marks for most 300-yard passing games (12) and most consecutive games with a passing touchdown (22). He is the 2016 Southeastern Conference leader with 343.3 total yards per game (sixth nationally), 306.4 passing yards per outing (ninth in nation) and 19 passing TDs (21st in nation).

Several quarterbacks with strong ties to the award are among the honorees. Watson was the 2015 Davey O'Brien Award winner, while Mayfield was a finalist a year ago. In addition to those two players, Falk, Mahomes and Ward are semifinalists for the second consecutive year.

The collection of semifinalists is comprised of five seniors, nine juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. Also of note, eight players hail from the state of Texas.

Schools from seven conference affiliations (American, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, MAC, Pac-12 and SEC) make up the list. Five leagues have multiple honorees, led by the ACC and Pac-12 with four apiece. The Big 12 and SEC both have three.

The 18 teams represented own a combined record of 128-34 (.790) this season. 

In conjunction with ESPN, the Davey O'Brien Foundation and the Selection Committee will release the names of the three finalists on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The 2016 Davey O'Brien winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards Thursday, Dec. 8.

The 40th Annual Davey O'Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

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