North Dakota State’s Trey Lance is one of 30 quarterbacks named to the preseason watch list for the Manning Award.
Lance, a redshirt sophomore from Marshall, Minn., was named the top player and quarterback last season at the FCS level. Lance led the Bison to the first 16-0 season in college football since 1894 and their eighth national championship in the last nine seasons.
Lance was off the charts statistically in his first season, highlighted by a school-record 3,886 yards of total offense. He also set the NCAA all-divisions’ record for most attempts (287) without an interception. Lance had 28 touchdown passes and added 14 more on the ground.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lance is considered a top NFL draft prospect by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay along with Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network. All three have projected Lance as a high first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Of the 30 players named to the Manning watch list five are finalists from last year, including Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Tanner Morgan (Minnesota), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Brady White (Memphis). Last year’s winner was LSU’s Joe Burrow, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. The two winners previous before Burrow -- Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray -- also were taken with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
This year’s Manning watch list includes players from all 10 FBS conferences topped by the AAC, Big 12 and Big Ten with four each. The ACC, C-USA, Pac-12 and SEC each have three selections. The list includes 13 seniors, 11 juniors and six sophomores. Quarterbacks not included on the original list can be added throughout the season.
The Manning Award is the only quarterback award which includes a players’ postseason performance in voting.
The other quarterbacks on the watch list are: Jack Abraham (Southern Miss), Holton Ahlers (East Carolina), Ian Book (Notre Dame), Charlie Brewer (Baylor), Shane Buechele (SMU), Sean Clifford (Penn State), Jack Coan (Wisconsin), Dustin Crum (Kent State), Micale Cunningham (Louisville), Jayden Daniels (Arizona State), Sam Ehlinger (Texas), Dillon Gabriel (Central Florida), Sam Howell (North Carolina), Levi Lewis (Louisiana), Kellen Mond (Texas A&M), Bo Nix (Auburn), Drew Plitt (Ball State), Chris Reynolds (Charlotte), Chris Robison (Charlotte), Kedon Slovis (USC), Zac Thomas (Appalachian State), Skylar Thompson (Kansas State) and Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA).
NDSU’s first three games of the season have been canceled due to pandemic-related issues. The Bison are scheduled to open the season on Sept. 26 at Northern Iowa.
Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or email@example.com
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