College Confidential

Watson, lots of Texans selected as O’Brien Award semifinalists

Officials of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award announced 18 semifinalists for this year’s honor Thursday. The list is highlighted by Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, the 2015 recipient, and eight players with ties to Texas-based colleges or high schools.

The award is presented annually to the top quarterback in college football. The recipient will be honored Feb. 20, 2017 during a dinner ceremony at the Fort Worth Club.

The semifinalists with Lone Star State connections include Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight, Houston’s Greg Ward Jr. and five quarterbacks who played high school football in Texas: Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, a 2015 finalist; Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett; Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans; Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and California’s Davis Webb.

Rounding out the list of semifinalists are Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Louiville’s Lamar Jackson, Washington’s Jake Browning, Southern California’s Sam Darnold, Washington State’s Luke Falk, Michigan’s Wilton Speight, Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell, Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly and North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky.

The list of semifinalists will be trimmed to three finalists by Nov. 22, although two semifinalists who have suffered season-ending injuries (A&M’s Knight, Ole Miss’ Kelly) will not be included on the next ballot. The winner among the three finalists will be announced Dec. 8 at The Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN, with the winner honored in Fort Worth in February.

Among the potential honorees, five have reached the semifinals for the second consecutive season: Watson, Mayfield, Mahomes, Ward and Falk. Three of the semifinalists began their college careers at Texas Tech: Mahomes, Mayfield and Davis.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch