4 ACC quarterbacks named finalists for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
Four ACC quarterbacks have been named a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the nation’s top quarterback.
Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong, Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman, North Carolina State’s Devin Leary and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett were all named finalists on Wednesday afternoon.
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalists
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia
Anthony Brown, Oregon
Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
Devin Leary, NC State
Grayson McCall, Coastal
Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Carson Strong, Nevada
Malik Willis, Liberty
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 3, 2021
Armstrong leads all Power 5 quarterbacks with 395.2 passing yards per game so far this season. He’s on pace to smash Deshaun Watson’s single-season passing record and has led Virginia to a 6-3 start.
Pickett is not far off, averaging 344.4 yards per game. He was firmly in the Heisman Trophy conversation prior to Pittsburgh’s loss to Miami last weekend. Pickett could still find himself in New York as a finalist if the Panthers finish strong down the stretch.
Hartman has continued to play like one of the nation’s best quarterbacks this season. He has the ACC’s best passer efficiency rating at 175 and has led Wake Forest to an unprecedented 8-0 record so far this season.
Leary has flown under the radar in both the ACC and nationally. But he’s been productive — averaging over 270 yards per game — and smart — 21-to-2 TD-to-INT ratio — with the football.
Watson was the last ACC quarterback to win the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, doing so in 2016. Boston College’s Matt Ryan and Florida State’s Chris Weinke are the ACC’s other most recent winners. The award has been handed out since 1987.
The winner will be announced at a banquet in Baltimore on Dec. 10.