The Manning Award is the only annual quarterback honor that includes candidates' bowl performances in the balloting.
Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald continues to reel in preseason recognition after being placed on the Manning Award watch list on Wednesday as one of the top 30 quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2017 season. "I'm really looking forward to getting the season rolling to see which guys will rise to the top and become Manning Award finalists".
A native of Orlando, Francois enters his second season as the Seminoles' starting quarterback after throwing for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2016, helping lead Florida State to a top 10 finish and an Orange Bowl victory over MI. He earned the Grange-Griffin Most Valuable Player award as MVP of the Big Ten Championship game after throwing for a Big Ten Championship game-record 384 yards and four touchdowns. He's also on watch lists for the Maxwell Award, the Wuerffel Trophy, the O'Brien Award, the Walter Camp Award and the Unitas Golden Arm Award. He only threw one interception during that span, leading the Rams to a 4-2 record over their final six games and a fourth consecutive postseason berth.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. Finley's 3,153 yards of total offense rank him seventh inthat category on the school's all-time, single-seaon list. Linehan was named a Manning Award Star of the Week last season, following his performance against New Mexico State. Midseason additions to the Watch List will be announced on October 12. The 10 finalists will be released on Thursday, November 30.