Dec. 1, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - University of Notre Dame junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2009 Manning Award. The award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
Clausen (Westlake Village, Calif.) has completed 68.0 percent of his passes this year for 3,722 yards with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions. He ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (161.42), second in average passes between interceptions (106.3), third in touchdown to interception ratio (7.0), third in passing yards per game (310.17), third in total passing yards (3,722), tied for third in fewest interceptions (four), sixth in completion percentage (68.0), tied for sixth in touchdown passes (28) and seventh in passing yards per attempt (8.76).
Clausen's 3,722 yards rank as the second most in Notre Dame single-season history and his 28 touchdowns are third best. He has eclipsed 300 yards passing seven times in 2009 - a single-season school record. Clausen has thrown a touchdown pass in all 12 games this year and 13 consecutive games when you include the 2008 Hawai'i Bowl. He has registered multiple touchdown passes in 10 of Notre Dame's 12 games this season.
Clausen has been at his best this season late in the game and in clutch situations. He has led Notre Dame to a school record four fourth-quarter comebacks this year. Clausen has completed 62.1 percent of his passes (77-of-124) for 1,045 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for two other scores in fourth quarters this season. When tied or trailing in 2009, Clausen has accounted for 20 touchdowns (18 passing TDs, two rushing TDs) and three turnovers.
"It has been another entertaining year to watch great quarterbacks in college football," Archie Manning said. "There have been outstanding performances by so many different players, but we are very excited with this list of 10 quarterbacks which we think represent the best that college football has to offer. We will be very excited to follow these 10 young men through the bowl season and then decide which one is the best in the nation."
The winner will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 14.
The first five winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who's Who list at the quarterback position. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. Last season's winner was Florida's Tim Tebow, who is making his bid to become the first two-time winner of the honor this year.
2009 Manning Award Finalists