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CCU’s McCall earns spot on Davey O’Brien Award preseason watch list

Coastal Carolina quarterback was a semifinalist for the award last season
McCall was a semifinalist for the award last year.
McCall was a semifinalist for the award last year.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 1:40 PM EDT
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FORT WORTH, Texas – The Davey O’Brien Foundation revealed the 2021 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list today, a group that includes Coastal Carolina redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall.

Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s 30-member list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2021 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at an NCAA Division I institution.

Twelve of the watch list members, including McCall, are previous Davey O’Brien Award semifinalists, including a trio of two-time semifinalists in Miami’s D’Eriq King (2018, 2020), Florida State’s McKenzie Milton (2017, 2018), and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy (2019, 2020). The other previous semifinalists are Utah’s Charlie Brewer (2019), Matt Corral of Ole Miss (2020), UCF’s Dillon Gabriel (2020), Sam Howell of North Carolina (2020), Tanner Morgan of Minnesota (2019), Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. (2020), Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma (2020), and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder (2020).

The other watch list honorees are Connor Bazelak (Missouri), Malik Cunningham (Louisville), Dustin Crum (Kent State), Jayden Daniels (Arizona State), JT Daniels (Georgia), Max Duggan (TCU), Frank Harris (UTSA), Phil Jurkovec (Boston College), Levi Lewis (Louisiana), Graham Mertz (Wisconsin), Spencer Sanders (Oklahoma State), Kedon Slovis, (USC), Nick Starkel (San Jose State), Carson Strong (Nevada), Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA), D.J. Uiagalelei (Clemson), Grant Wells (Marshall), and Malik Willis (Liberty).

Named to the 2021 Maxwell Award preseason watch list on July 19, McCall adds to his list of preseason accolades which included being named to the 2021 Pro Football Focus (PFF) College Football Preseason All-Sun Belt first team, the 2021 Phil Steele Preseason SBC All-Conference first team, and the 2021 Athlon Sports Preseason All-Sun Belt first team already this summer.

Tabbed the 2020 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Most Inspirational Freshman and named to both the 2020 FWAA Freshman All-American team and The Athletic’s 2020 College Football Freshman All-American team, McCall was a 2020 Manning Award finalist, a 2020 Shaun Alexander-FWAA Freshman of the Year Award semifinalist, a 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award semifinalist, and a member of the Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2020 last season.

McCall was named the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches and earned a spot on the 2020 All-Sun Belt first team and the 2020 Phil Steele SBC All-Conference first team last season in which he led the Sun Belt and ranked 10th nationally with 26 passing touchdowns on the year.

He also led the Sun Belt and ranked in the top 30 nationally in passing efficiency at 184.3 (fifth), points responsible for with 202 (ninth), points responsible for per game at 18.4 (16th), passing yards with 2,488 (19th), and in total offensive yards per game at 277.9 (30th), and was second in the Sun Belt in completion percentage at 68.8 percent (172-of-250), in passing yards per completion at 14.47, and yards per attempt at 9.95.

McCall, who ranked sixth in the Sun Belt with seven rushing touchdowns and 12th in rushing yards with 569 rushing yards from his quarterback position, threw for over 200 yards in eight of the 11 games he played in on the season, including a career-high 338 passing yards at Troy (Dec. 12). He also tallied two passing touchdowns or more in nine games on the season, including a career-high four touchdown tosses against Arkansas State (Oct. 3) and at Georgia State (Oct. 31).

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. Appearing on the preseason watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the award.

For the second straight year, players honored as weekly Davey O’Brien Great 8 recipients, as well as any additional quarterbacks approved by the selection subcommittee, will be added to form the official Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2021, which will be announced on Monday, Oct. 25.

Sixteen semifinalists selected from the QB Class of 2021 list will be named on Monday, Nov. 8. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Monday, Nov. 22). The 2021 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 9, during The Home Depot College Football Awards. Fan voting on social media will again play a role in the semifinalist, finalist, and winner voting totals when combined with the national selection committee’s ballots.

The 45th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas.

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