Redshirt junior QB Micale Cunningham had a very good year last year. The 6-1 native of Montgomery, AL ended up becoming the starter by the 3rd game of the year. He ended up throwing for 2065 yards and 22 TDs with only 5 interceptions. He completed 63 percent of his passes and he fell a few passes short of being ranked second nationally in passing efficiency. Cunningham was an effective runner as well, having run for 482 yards and 6 TDs. In Louisville’s Music City Bowl victory, Cunningham was named the game’s MVP. In that game, he completed 16 of 23 passes for 279 yards and 2 TDs. He rushed 16 times for 81 yards as well.
Now, Cunningham enters 2020 as the presumptive starter for the Cards. The season he had last year and the season he’s expected to have this year have led to Cunningham being placed on the 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list. Cunningham is one of 30 QBs on the watch list. Some other notable names include Trevor Lawrence, Ian Book, Sam Howell, and Justin Fields to name a few.
To be on the watch list of this prestigious award isn’t something new for a Cardinal QB. According to resident UofL statistician Real Card Game, 6 other Louisville QBs have been on the watch list. Among those QBs were Lamar Jackson, Teddy Bridgewater, and Brian Brohm.
Micale Cunningham is the seventh Louisville quarterback to be named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List.
Dave Ragone – 2002
Stefan LeFors – 2004
Brian Brohm – 2005, 2006, 2007
Hunter Cantwell – 2008
Teddy Bridgewater – 2012, 2013
Lamar Jackson – 2017 pic.twitter.com/B1DelYX6va
— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) July 14, 2020
To read more about Micale’s accolade and see the full watch list, check out Louisville’s press release below:
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT:
LOUISVILLE, Ky.– Junior quarterback Micale Cunningham was recently named to the watch list for the prestigious 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, given to the nation’s top college quarterback.
Cunningham is one of 30 of the nation’s top returning quarterbacks on the list.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2020 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at an NCAA Division I institution. In keeping with the changing landscape of college athletics, new transfers were eligible to be included for the first time in the award’s history.
Cunningham, who was named the Most Valuable Player in the Music City Bowl, is coming off a strong sophomore campaign in 2019. He started 11 of 13 games at quarterback, throwing for 2,065 yards on 112-of-179 passing with 22 touchdowns to just five interceptions, also rushing 122 times for 482 yards and six touchdowns. He threw for over 200 yards in six games, including a career high 288 yards in a 41-39 victory over Boston College.
The native of Montgomery, Ala., set the school record for passing efficiency at 194.45 and would have finished second nationally, but didn’t have enough passing attempts to meet NCAA standards. He led the nation in passing yards per completion at 18.44 yards and was tops in passing completions of 70 and 80 yards.
Fourteen seniors, eight juniors and eight sophomores comprise the list. Among conferences, the SEC and Big 12 lead the way with five selections. It is the fourth straight year that the SEC has been atop the list. Other leagues with at least three members on the watch list are the Big Ten (4), ACC (4) and AAC (3). Nearly one-third of the quarterbacks are Texas products, as nine of the 30 played high school football in the state.
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. This year, players who have been 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 final midseason watch list on Tuesday, Oct. 20
Sixteen semifinalists selected from the final watch list will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Tuesday, Nov. 24). The 2020 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN Thursday, Dec. 10, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The 44th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas.
2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List
Hank Bachmeier, Boise State, So., 6-1, 200, Murrieta, Calif.
Ian Book, Notre Dame, Sr., 6-0, 206, El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Alan Bowman, Texas Tech, So., 6-3, 210, Grapevine, Texas
Charlie Brewer, Baylor, Sr., 6-1, 206, Austin, Texas
Shane Buechele, SMU, Sr., 6-1, 207, Arlington, Texas
Jack Coan, Wisconsin, Sr., 6-3, 221, Sayville, N.Y.
Sean Clifford, Penn State, Jr., 6-2, 219, Cincinnati, Ohio
Dustin Crum, Kent State, Sr., 6-3, 201, Grafton, Ohio
Micale Cunningham, Louisville, Jr., 6-1, 200, Montgomery, Ala.
Jayden Daniels, Arizona State, So., 6-3, 175, San Bernardino, Calif.
Sam Ehlinger, Texas, Sr., 6-3, 230, Austin, Texas
Justin Fields, Ohio State, Jr., 6-3, 228, Kennesaw, Ga.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF, So., 6-0, 186, Mililani, Hawaii
Donald Hammond III, Air Force, Sr., 6-2, 220, Hampton, Ga.
Sam Howell, North Carolina, So., 6-1 1/4, 225, Indian Trail, N.C.
Mac Jones, Alabama, Jr., 6-2, 205, Jacksonville, Fla.
D’Eriq King, Miami, Sr., 5-11, 195, Manvel, Texas
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, Jr., 6-6, 220, Cartersville, Ga.
Levi Lewis, Louisiana, Sr., 5-10, 190, Baton Rouge, La.
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, Sr., 6-3, 217, San Antonio, Texas
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota, Jr., 6-2, 215, Union, Ky.
Jamie Newman, Georgia, Sr., 6-4, 230, Graham, N.C.
Bo Nix, Auburn, So., 6-2, 207, Pinson, Ala.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State, Jr., 6-1, 212, Gilbert, Ariz.
Chris Robison, Florida Atlantic, Jr., 6-1, 200, Mesquite, Texas
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, So., 6-1, 199, Denton, Texas
Kedon Slovis, USC, So., 6-2, 200, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Zac Thomas, Appalachian State, Sr., 6-1, 210, Trussville, Ala.
Kyle Trask, Florida, Sr., 6-5, 239, Manvel, Texas
Brady White, Memphis, Sr., 6-3, 215, Santa Clarita, Calif.