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Penn State Football: Clifford Named to O'Brien Watch List

by on July 14, 2020 2:07 PM

Penn State junior quarterback Sean Clifford got a birthday present on Tuesday morning when he was named one of the 30 quarterbacks on the The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award preseason watch list.

The award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest national quarterback award. Penn State has had two O’Brien Award winners, with Todd Blackledge (1982) and Kerry Collins (1994) each earning the honor. John Schaffer was also named a finalist in 1986.

All things being equal, Clifford enters his second season as Penn State's starting quarterback having appeared in 16 games, making 12 starts at quarterback. He was selected as an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2019.

During the 2019-20 campaign Clifford was named to the 2019 CFPA National Performer of the Year Trophy Midseason watch list, the Manning Award Midseason watch list and the Maxwell Award watch list. He completed 39 passes of 20 or more yards in 2019 and ranked third in the Big Ten in 2019 in passing touchdowns (23; 32nd in the FBS), yards per completion (14.04; 18th) and yards per pass attempt (8.32; 22nd), was fourth in in passing efficiency (148.54; 26th) and was seventh in passing yardage (2,654). 

Sixteen semifinalists selected from the final watch list will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The Davey O’Brien 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. 

Clifford is the second Nittany Lion to land on a preseason watch list this week with Micah Parsons earning the watch list honors for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's top linebacker.

Penn State on 2020 Watch Lists

Bednarik Award: Micah Parsons

O’Brien Award: Sean Clifford

Lott IMPACT Trophy: Micah Parsons

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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