Rice senior Driphus Jackson is one of 30 quarterbacks who have been named to the 2015 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List which was announced by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation on Tuesday. Jackson joined WKU senior Brandon Doughty C-USA’s representatives on the list.
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.
Jackson earned a spot on the watch list after a memorable first season as the Owls’ starter, capped off by capturing the Most Valuable Player Award in the 2014 Hawai'i Bowl. Jackson set a Rice bowl record by throwing for 318 yards and tying a second with three touchdown passes in the Owls' 30-3 win over Fresno State. He finished the year ranked third in the country by averaging 14.9 yards per pass attempt, throwing for 2,842 yards and 24 touchdowns.
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); and Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011). Last year’s winner, Marcus Mariota of University of Oregon, 2015 Heisman Trophy winner and Pac-12 offensive player of the year.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award® will be presented at a ceremony on December 11, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. For the 2015 Golden Arm Award ceremony, The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica are 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.
Jackson and his Rice teammates will report to campus on Wednesday in advance of the opening of their 2015 training camp on Thursday. The Owls open the 2015 season on September 5 when they host the Wagner Seahawks for a 2:30 kickoff at Rice Stadium.