Aug. 30, 2000
Louisville - Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosop is among 23 outstanding senior quarterbacks have been selected as candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior collegiate quarterback by the Frank Camp Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
The nation's top senior quarterback is selected for the award from a list compiled by a select committee of football experts from across the United States. The committee will choose five finalists plus any ties and announce the list on Oct. 25.
The 2000 recipient will be announced Nov. 21, with the award presentation to be made in Louisville on December 8. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas will attend the ceremony to make the official presentation at the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel in Louisville.
The prestigious award bears the name of who many refer to as the finest quarterback to ever play the game of football. Established in 1987, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has previously honored 13 outstanding young men.
Louisville quarterback Chris Redman won the award last year. Other past recipients include Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1987), Rodney Peete (USC, 1988), Tony Rice (Notre Dame, 1989), Craig Erickson (Miami, Fla., 1990), Casey Weldon (Florida St., 1991), Gino Torretta (Miami, Fla., 1992), Charlie Ward (Florida St., 1993), Jay Barker (Alabama, 1994), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska, 1995), Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997) and Cade McNown (UCLA, 1998).
In addition to honoring a player with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Frank Camp Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation has presented more than $300,000 in scholarships to deserving scholar athletes from high schools and colleges. The organization was formerly associated with the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Joint corporate sponsors for the award and organization include: Caritas Health Services, Kiel Brothers Oil, distributors of BP Oil products, and Insight Communications of Louisville.
The namesake of the award has a storied history which has earned him recognition by many as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
An 18-year veteran of the NFL, Unitas played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville (1951-54), passing for 3,007 yards and 27 touchdowns. Unitas, who wore number 19 as a professional, had his No. 16 collegiate uniform retired at Louisville, the lone number retired by the Cardinals.
He began his 18-year pro career with the Baltimore Colts in 1956 and played there until joining the San Diego Chargers for his final season. His career passing figures are mind boggling. He completed 2,830 of 5,186 passes for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns during his 18-year NFL career. Among his many records is one that may stand forever, throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Unitas was recently selected as the top quarterback of all-time by the Pro Football Hall of Fame 36-member selection committee. In commemorating the NFL's 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries, he was also honored as the greatest quarterback of all time. A Pro Bowl participant 10 times and a three-time Most Valuable Player honoree, Unitas was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979. In turn of the century listings, Unitas was featured among Sports Illustrated's top ten athletes, Time's ten most influential athletes and in ESPN's series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.
2000 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Candidates
|Drew Brees||Purdue||337-554 passes, 3,909 yds., 25 TDs|
|Rashard Casey||Penn State||59-94 passes, 856 yds., 6 TDs|
|Walter Church||Eastern Michigan||178-332 passes, 2,015 yds., 8 TDs|
|Justin Coleman||Nebraska-Kearney||179-311 passes, 3,167 yds., 28 TDs|
|Dan Ellis||Virginia||156-258 passes, 2,050 yds., 20 TDs|
|A.J. Feeley||Oregon||136-259 passes, 1,951 yds., 14 TDs|
|Tim Hasselback||Boston College||158-293 passes, 2,093 yds., 12 TDs|
|Jack Hawley||San Diego St.||145-266 passes, 1,942 yds., 15 TDs|
|Bart Hendricks||Boise State||203-351 passes, 2,746 yds., 22 TDs|
|Josh Heupel||Oklahoma||310-500 passes, 3,460 yds., 30 TDs|
|Ortege Jenkins||Arizona||79-131 passes, 1,082 yds., 9 TDs|
|Deontey Kenner||Cincinnati||208-379 passes, 2,430 yds., 14 TDs|
|Ben Leard||Auburn||111-157 passes, 1,423 yds., 12 TDs|
|Jason McKinley||Houston||148-257 passes, 1,651 yds., 5 TDs|
|Mike McMahon||Rutgers||66-146 passes, 989 yds., 5 TDs|
|Romaro Miller||Mississippi||147-270 passes, 1,999 yds., 14 TDs|
|Scott Mullen||Iowa||126-226 passes, 1,415 yds., 5 TDs|
|Jesse Palmer||Florida||44-95 passes, 565 yds., 2 TDs|
|Sage Rosenfels||Iowa State||105-199 passes, 1,449 yds., 7 TDs|
|Dylen Smith||Kansas||135-263 passes, 1,599 yds., 12 TDs|
|Jay Stoner||Wyoming||135-222 passes, 1,859 yds., 8 TDs|
|Marques Tuiasosopo||Washington||171-295 passes, 2,221 yds., 12 TDs|
|Chris Weinke||Florida State||232-377 passes, 3,103 yds., 25 TDs|