Zach Wilson Named To Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Top 15

Nov 13, 2020, 6:00 PM
Zach Wilson - BYU Football Pass...
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson (1) passes during the game against the UTSA Roadrunners at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The accolades and the recognition continue to pile up for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. On Friday, Wilson was named one of the top-15 candidates for the 2020 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is presented annually to the top senior and upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with their class. In August, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award released a preseason watch list that didn’t include Wilson. After leading BYU to its best in nearly two decades, the Golden Arm Committee added Wilson to its watch list in October. Now BYU’s star quarterback has made the cut that features the top-15 quarterbacks.

The semifinalists, finalists, and award recipient are selected by the distinguished Golden Arm Award Selection Committee, a group of prominent football journalists, former coaches and players, general managers, commentators, announcers, and other former award recipients.

Wilson joins a top-15 that includes Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields from Ohio State, Alabama’s Mac Jones, and Ian Book from Notre Dame.

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 throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Top-15 Candidates in 2020

  • Ian Book, Notre Dame
  • Shane Buechele, SMU
  • Sam Ehlinger, Texas
  • Justin Fields, Ohio State
  • Feleipe Franks, Arkansas
  • Mac Jones, Alabama
  • D’Eriq King, Miami
  • Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  • Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
  • Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
  • Brock Purdy, Iowa State
  • Zac Thomas, Appalachian State
  • Kyle Trask, Florida
  • Brady White, Memphis
  • Zach Wilson, BYU

Any of the major stats you look at for quarterbacks, Wilson is near the top of the list. Wilson leads the country in passing touchdowns with 22 through eight games. He’s also No. 1 in the country in “points responsible for” with 184 points.

The Draper native is also No. 2 in passing yards (2,512), No. 4 in competition percentage (75.1%), and No. 6 in passing efficiency (201.6).

Wilson and No. 8 BYU return to action on November 21st when they host FCS foe North Alabama.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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Zach Wilson Named To Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Top 15