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Auburn's Cameron Newton and Oregon's Darron Thomas Featured Manning Watch List Additions

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced 10 additions to its 2010 Watch List on Oct. 25. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a banquet in New Orleans.

After announcing 33 quarterbacks to watch during the preseason, the Manning Award opted to increase its focus players based on the many outstanding performances during the first half of the year, however, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible to win the honor.

Click here to see the preseason Watch List

For the remainder of the season, the Manning Award will profile the 10 Watch List additions.
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
Mike Hartline, Kentucky
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska

Bryant Moniz, Hawai‘i
Dan Persa, Northwestern
Taylor Potts, Texas Tech

Denard Robinson, Michigan
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

Auburn's Cameron Newton and Oregon's Darron Thomas will be the focus this week.

Cameron Newton BIO

Newton and the second-ranked Auburn Tigers will travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium to face No. 11 Alabama in the 75th Iron Bowl on Friday, Nov. 26, at 1:30 p.m. CT on CBS. Eighteen of the last 22 meetings in the series have been decided by 10 points or less. Newton's Tigers are coming off their bye week and looking to remain undefeated heading into the SEC Championship game.

Newton leads the SEC and ranks ninth nationally (second among quarterbacks) in rushing (117.9). He is the only player in the country with five 170-yard rushing games this season. The Heisman hopeful has also excelled through the air as he ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (183.58) and became the first quarterback in school history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of the first five games of a season.

Newton ranks second in the nation with 39 TDs scored or passed for, which is more touchdowns than 62 of the other 119 FBS schools have scored as a team this season.

On Nov. 13 against Georgia, Newton became the first player in SEC history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season. His achievement had previously been accomplished by just seven quarterbacks in NCAA history entering this season, including just three from BCS conference schools.

The 6-6 junior from College Park, Ga. has a nation-leading touchdown percentage of 10.61 and his average of 10.29 yards per pass attempt is second in the country.

Eric EvansDarron Thomas BIO

Thomas and the top-ranked Ducks will welcome No. 21 Arizona to Autzen Stadium on Friday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN. The Ducks have won two straight and 13 of the past 16 meetings in the series, dating to 1994.

Thomas has thrown for 23 touchdowns with just six interceptions while also rushing for four scores as he has directed the Ducks' offense to a national-best 50.4 points per game. Oregon has climbed to No. 1 in the nation for the first time in program history this year as well.

The 6-3 Houston native passed for a career-high four touchdowns vs. Portland State on Sept. 18 - all before halftime - becoming the first UO quarterback to accomplish the feat since Justin Roper had four TDs vs. South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl. He matched that total again Oct. 30 at USC and now leads the Pac-10 with an average of 2.3 TDs per game.

The sophomore's first Pac-10 start in the Ducks' 42-31 win at Arizona State produced one of the best games of his young career. He set career highs of 260 passing yards, 19 completions and 33 pass attempts, and also tossed a pair of touchdowns and ran for another score.

The Manning Award will be recognizing its seventh winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor - he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Last year's winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history. McCoy was picked by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft.

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