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Tuiasosopo Selected Candidate for Unitas Award
Release: 08/30/2000
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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

PlayerSchool1999 Statistics
Drew BreesPurdue337-554 passes, 3,909 yds., 25 TDs
Rashard CaseyPenn State59-94 passes, 856 yds., 6 TDs
Walter ChurchEastern Michigan178-332 passes, 2,015 yds., 8 TDs
Justin ColemanNebraska-Kearney179-311 passes, 3,167 yds., 28 TDs
Dan EllisVirginia 156-258 passes, 2,050 yds., 20 TDs
A.J. Feeley Oregon136-259 passes, 1,951 yds., 14 TDs
Tim HasselbackBoston College158-293 passes, 2,093 yds., 12 TDs
Jack Hawley San Diego St.145-266 passes, 1,942 yds., 15 TDs
Bart HendricksBoise State203-351 passes, 2,746 yds., 22 TDs
Josh Heupel Oklahoma310-500 passes, 3,460 yds., 30 TDs
Ortege JenkinsArizona79-131 passes, 1,082 yds., 9 TDs
Deontey KennerCincinnati208-379 passes, 2,430 yds., 14 TDs
Ben LeardAuburn111-157 passes, 1,423 yds., 12 TDs
Jason McKinleyHouston148-257 passes, 1,651 yds., 5 TDs
Mike McMahonRutgers66-146 passes, 989 yds., 5 TDs
Romaro MillerMississippi147-270 passes, 1,999 yds., 14 TDs
Scott MullenIowa126-226 passes, 1,415 yds., 5 TDs
Jesse PalmerFlorida44-95 passes, 565 yds., 2 TDs
Sage RosenfelsIowa State105-199 passes, 1,449 yds., 7 TDs
Dylen Smith Kansas135-263 passes, 1,599 yds., 12 TDs
Jay StonerWyoming135-222 passes, 1,859 yds., 8 TDs
Marques TuiasosopoWashington171-295 passes, 2,221 yds., 12 TDs
Chris WeinkeFlorida State232-377 passes, 3,103 yds., 25 TDs
Note: All candidates must be completing their college eligibility this season to be eligible for The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Candidates are judged upon citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.
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