Will Grier
Will Grier

WVU’s Will Grier one of five Johnny Unitas award finalists

BALTIMORE, Md. – West Virginia University quarterback Will Grier has been named as one of five finalists for a prestigious national award.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented by A. O. Smith Corporation announced this week that it has narrowed its 2018 season watch list to five finalists.

The Golden Arm Award Selection Committee selected the remaining nominees based on player performance on-and-off the field. Candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class.

After 11 weeks of play, the five finalists for the 2018 award are:

Will Grier, West Virginia – Grier has completed 207 of 300 passes for 2,961 yards (69 percent completion rate) throwing for 32 touchdowns with just 8 interceptions, and a QB rating of 180.7.

Drew Lock, Missouri – Lock has completed 215 of 344 passes for 2,647 yards (63 percent completion rate) throwing for 25 touchdowns with just 8 interceptions, and a QB rating of 142.6.

McKenzie Milton, UCF – Milton has completed 153 of 254 passes for 2309 yards, (60 percent completion rate) throwing for 29 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions, and a QB rating of 159.9.

Gardner Minshew II, Washington State – Minshew has completed 364 of 523 passes for 3852 yards, (70 percent completion rate) throwing for 32 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions, and a QB rating of 147.1.

Shea Patterson, Michigan – Patterson has completed 152 of 227 passes for 1927 yards (67 percent completion rate) throwing for 19 touchdowns with just 3 interceptions, and a QB rating of 160.3.

Giving life to the commitment to give back, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and presenting sponsor A. O. Smith continue to promote football on all levels by providing financial aid to deserving young scholar athletes. A. O. Smith is committed to creating innovative solutions that set new standards for their industry, just like Unitas did in football.

Proceeds donated to the Golden Arm Award help support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, which helps underprivileged and deserving student-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Unitas was inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame in 1979. The Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top quarterback of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated’s list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine’s list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN’s series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.

The 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Presented by A. O. Smith will be presented on Friday, December 7, in Baltimore, MD. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. will be returning to the beautifully renovated Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & The Grand for the presentation.

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), Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011), Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) Connor Cook (Michigan State, 2015) Deshaun Watson (Clemson, 2016) and last year’s winner Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State 2017).

Other sponsors of the Golden Arm Award Presented by A. O. Smith Corporation include: MedStar Sports Medicine, The Babe Ruth Museum, Cannonball Moments, Century Engineering, Comcast, Dunbar Armored, Dunbar Security Solutions, Dunbar Protective Services, The Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & The Grand, Haddock Investments, Harvey Agency, HMS Insurance Associates, Inc., Milwaukee Tool, PSAV, Panini, TRAY, The Scott Garceau Show, SILKS, Wilson Sporting Goods, Wolf Professional Security, Inc. and ZBest Executive & Global Transportation Services.

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