American Football Database
Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award
Awarded forthe collegiate American football player adjudged to be the best of all NCAA quarterbacks
Presented byDavey O'Brien Foundation
LocationThe Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth Texas
CountryUnited States
First awarded1981
Currently held byCameron Newton
Official website

The Davey O'Brien Award, officially the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, named after Davey O'Brien, is presented annually to the collegiate American football player adjudged by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to be the best of all National Collegiate Athletic Association quarterbacks. The Davey O'Brien Hall of Fame is housed at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The annual awards dinner and trophy presentation is held there as well usually in February.

In 1977, directly after the death of O'Brien, the award was established as the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy, and was given to the most outstanding player in the now-defunct Southwest Conference. Earl Campbell won the trophy in 1977, Billy Sims in 1978, and Mike Singletary won it twice in 1979 and 1980. In 1980, it was renamed to the Davey O'Brien Award, and from 1981 onwards it has been awarded to the nation's top quarterback annually.

The only people to have won the award twice are Danny Wuerffel of Florida, Ty Detmer of Brigham Young, and Jason White of Oklahoma.

Davey O'Brien

Robert David "Davey" O’Brien was born in Dallas, Texas on June 22, 1917. As a youth he quarterbacked a sandlot football team self-named the Gaston Avenue Bulldogs, and he spent several summers at the Kanakuk Boys’ Kamp near Branson, Missouri. At 118 lb (54 kg), he was an All-State selection who led Woodrow Wilson High School to the state playoffs in 1932.

O’Brien enrolled at Texas Christian University in 1935 but sat on the bench behind Sammy Baugh. In 1937, O’Brien’s first season as starting quarterback, TCU fell to a mediocre 4–4–2 record, but O’Brien was named to the All-Southwest Conference first team. O’Brien had 1,457 passing yards, a Southwest Conference record that stood for ten years, and only four interceptions in 194 passing attempts. In 1938, he led TCU's Horned Frogs to their first undefeated season, including a 15–7 victory over Carnegie Tech in the Sugar Bowl, and the national championship. The 150 lb (68 kg) O’Brien completed 110 of 194 passes for 1,733 yards and 19 touchdowns. O’Brien was named to thirteen All-America teams and became the only college football player to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Walter Camp trophies in the same year. When he went to New York to accept the Heisman Trophy, Amon Carter and other Fort Worth boosters hired a stagecoach to carry him to the Downtown Athletic Club.

After graduating from TCU, O’Brien signed a $10,000 contract with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. In his rookie season with the Eagles, he passed for 1,324 yards in eleven games, breaking fellow TCU alum Baugh’s NFL record and was named first-team quarterback on the National Football Leagues’ All-Pro Team. The Eagles gave him a $2,000 raise, but he retired after the 1940 season to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After completing his training, he was assigned to the bureau’s field office in Springfield, Missouri. O’Brien was a firearms instructor at headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, and spent the last five years of his FBI career in Dallas. He retired in 1950 and went to work for Haroldson L. Hunt in land development and later entered the oil business working for Dresser-Atlas Industries of Dallas and eventually started his own business.

Davey O’Brien was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1956. In 1971 O’Brien was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery to remove a kidney and part of his right lung. He succumbed to cancer on November 18, 1977.

Other awards for quarterbacks

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is awarded to seniors. The Manning Award has been given since 2004. The Sammy Baugh Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's top college passer, not necessarily the top quarterback. The Touchdown Club of Columbus also presents a Quarterback of the Year award to the top quarterback.


Year Player School
1981 Jim McMahon Brigham Young University
1982 Todd Blackledge Penn State
1983 Steve Young Brigham Young University
1984 Doug Flutie Boston College
1985 Chuck Long University of Iowa
1986 Vinny Testaverde University of Miami
1987 Don McPherson Syracuse University
1988 Troy Aikman UCLA
1989 Andre Ware University of Houston
1990 Ty Detmer Brigham Young University
1991 Ty Detmer Brigham Young University
1992 Gino Torretta University of Miami
1993 Charlie Ward Florida State
1994 Kerry Collins Penn State
1995 Danny Wuerffel University of Florida
1996 Danny Wuerffel University of Florida
1997 Peyton Manning University of Tennessee
1998 Michael Bishop Kansas State
1999 Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State University
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska
2002 Brad Banks University of Iowa
2003 Jason White University of Oklahoma
2004 Jason White University of Oklahoma
2005 Vince Young University of Texas at Austin
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State
2007 Tim Tebow University of Florida
2008 Sam Bradford University of Oklahoma
2009 Colt McCoy University of Texas at Austin
2010 Cam Newton Auburn University

Trophies won by school

School Winners
Florida 3
Oklahoma 3
Florida State 2
Iowa 2
Miami 2
Penn State 2
Texas 2
Boston College 1
Georgia Tech 1
Houston 1
Kansas State 1
Nebraska 1
Ohio State 1
Syracuse 1
Tennessee 1
Auburn 1

External links

See also