Louisville QB Micale Cunningham has made numerous preseason watch lists for some major college awards. From the Davey O’Brien Award to the Maxwell Award, he finds himself on the radar of many of college football’s prestigious awards. We can now add to that list as Cunningham is on the watch list for the Manning Award.
Cunningham emerged as the starter after two games last season and ended up putting together an excellent campaign. The 6’1 redshirt junior completed 63 percent of his passes for 2065 yards and 22 TDs against only 5 interceptions. He also ran for 482 yards and 6 TDs.You can see why Cunningham is making so many award watch lists.
The Manning Award is a relatively new award, arriving on the scene in 2004. It’s namesake is former Ole Miss and NFL QB Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli. It is awarded by the Sugar Bowl Committee to the QB they judge to be the best in the country. A unique aspect of the award is that they take into account bowl performance. This is likely why former UofL QB Lamar Jackson, despite winning every other major award, did not win this one in his 2016 season. The award went to Deshaun Watson that season and in 2015. Watson is the only two-time winner. Other notable winners include Matt Leinart, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton. This year’s watch list includes names like Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, and Notre Dame’s Ian Book.
What’s clear is there are many in the college football world that believe Micale Cunningham will have a big season for Louisville. I think many Louisville fans will agree.
You can read more about Micale and his inclusion on the Manning Award Watch List below.
Louisville’s Cunningham Named to Manning Award Watch List
The junior quarterback set the school record for passing efficiency in 2019.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville redshirt junior Micale Cunningham was one of 30 quarterbacks to be named to the Manning Award Watch List, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The winner will again be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
The Manning 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 includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
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.
This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The AAC, Big 12 and Big Ten lead the way with four selections, while the ACC, C-USA, the Pac-12 and the SEC each have three selections. There are 13 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has six.
Five of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s Watch List: Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Tanner Morgan (Minnesota), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Brady White (Memphis).