admin | Posted: 18 Jul 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU's Riley Nelson named to 2012 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List

main image
FORT WORTH, Texas – BYU senior Riley Nelson has been named to the 2012 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List announced Wednesday by the Davey O’Brien Foundation. 
This year’s list, which was compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, features 34 of the nation’s best college quarterbacks who were selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2012 college football season.  
Nelson, who was also recently named to the Maxwell Award Watch List for the nation’s most outstanding player, led BYU to a 6-1 record as a starter in 2011 and helped the Cougars to its fifth 10-win season in the last six years. The Logan, Utah, product passed for 1,717 yards and 19 touchdowns while rushing for 392 yards and one score last season. His pass efficiency rating of 152.93 was No. 16 in the country last year and helped BYU rank No. 5 in third down conversions for the season.
A tough competitor on the field, Nelson threw at least three touchdown passes in a game on five different occasions and threw for a career-best 363 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-20 win at Hawai’i, just three weeks removed from rib injury and a collapsed lung. He also led BYU to a program-record third consecutive bowl victory and fifth bowl win in the last six years with a 24-21 win over Tulsa in the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl.
BYU quarterbacks have won the Davey O'Brien Award four times, more than any other school in the country. Jim McMahon won the inaugural award in 1981 and Steve Young earned the honor in 1983. Ty Detmer is one of only three players to be a two-time winner (1990 and 1991) of the Davey O'Brien Award.  
Seven 2011 semifinalists are included on the 2012 Watch List: Matt Barkley (USC), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Seth Doege (Texas Tech), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), Keith Price (Washington), Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Tyler Wilson (Arkansas).
Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O’Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 124 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools are eligible for the award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Oct. 22. The Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce three finalists on Monday, Nov. 19. The 2012 Davey O’Brien Winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 6.
The 36th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Feb. 18, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.
2012 Davey O’Brien Watch List
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State, Sun Belt
Matt Barkley, USC, Pac-12
Tajh Boyd, Clemson, ACC
Tyler Bray, Tennessee, SEC
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Big East
Alex Carder, Western Michigan, MAC
Derek Carr, Fresno State, MWC
B.J. Daniels, USF, Big East
Seth Doege, Texas Tech, Big 12
Cody Fajardo, Nevada, MWC
James Franklin, Missouri, SEC
Mike Glennon, N.C. State, ACC
Landry Jones, Oklahoma, Big 12
Collin Klein, Kansas State, Big 12
EJ Manuel, Florida State, ACC
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska, Big Ten
AJ McCarron, Alabama, SEC
Braxton Miller, Ohio State, Big Ten
Aaron Murray, Georgia, SEC
Riley Nelson, BYU, Independent
Casey Pachall, TCU, Big 12
Keith Price, Washington, Pac-12
Sean Renfree, Duke, ACC
Bryn Renner, North Carolina, ACC
Denard Robinson, Michigan, Big Ten
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois, Big Ten
Connor Shaw, South Carolina, SEC
Geno Smith, West Virginia, Big 12
Trent Steelman, Army, Independent
Tyler Tettleton, Ohio, MAC
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech, ACC
Jeff Tuel, Washington St, Pac-12
James Vandenberg, Iowa, Big Ten
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, SEC
About the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award®
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. The Davey O’Brien Award honors candidates who exemplify Davey O’Brien’s enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics. The award is overseen by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and has given away more than $850,000 in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life. For more information, visit
The Davey O’Brien Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website,

Recent Stories

Camp Helmet 2023
2023 Fall Camp: Practice 5—BYU Football History and Notables

BYU football wrapped up its first week of fall camp with its fifth practice on Saturday morning. 

Kicking 2023 Fall
2023 Fall Camp: Practice 4—Kelly Poppinga and Specialists Preview

BYU football practiced Friday for its fourth session of fall camp as the Cougars continue their first week.