Nov. 16, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -- - Andrew Luck has been named one of five finalists for the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is presented to the top quarterback in the nation that best exemplifies outstanding character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.
Luck joins Baylor's Robert Griffin III, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden as this year's Golden Arm finalists.
Luck, who has quarterbacked Stanford to a 9-1 record this season and a No. 8 ranking in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, has completed 221 of 313 passes for 2,695 yards and 29 touchdowns. His 29 touchdown passes are tied for first in the Pac-12 Conference and rank second on Stanford's all-time single-season list, just three shy of his own mark set last season.
Luck enters Saturday's game against California with 74 career touchdown passes and needs just three more to tie John Elway for first place on Stanford's all-time career list.
The Cardinal has posted a 29-5 record in Luck's 35 career starts, including a 7-2 record against Top 25 competition.
Named after the man many refer to as the greatest quarterback ever to play football, the prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica, a leading provider of innovative business and personal financial services (www.transamerica.com).
Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented on Friday, December 9 at the Intercontinental Harbor Court, 550 Light Street in downtown Baltimore. The winner will be announced earlier that week.
Past winners of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award include Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997). and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).
Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.
The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and one that may stand forever - throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Unitas was inducted into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in 1979. Further, the Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL's 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top quarterback of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine's list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN's series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.