Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald continues to reel in preseason recognition after being placed on the Manning Award watch list on Wednesday as one of the top 30 quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2017 season.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning and is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. This year’s watch list includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences.
Fitzgerald led the Southeastern Conference in total offense last year during his sophomore campaign with 3,798 yards. Through just one season as the Bulldogs’ full-time starter, Fitzgerald already stands fifth in school history with 43 total touchdowns in his career.
Midseason additions to the watch list will be announced on Thursday, October 12. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Thursday, November 30 and the winner will be announced in the week following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
A native of Richmond Hill, Georgia, Fitzgerald rushed for over 100 yards eight times last season, an SEC record by a quarterback. His 7.1 yards per rush was also the highest of any SEC signal caller in history. Fitzgerald also led the nation in 300-yard passing/100-yard rushing performances, and became the first SEC quarterback to do it three times in a season since Heisman winner Johnny Manziel in 2012.
The Bulldog junior has also been named to the Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch lists and was named to All-SEC second team in July by the media.
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