Luke Falk woke up Wednesday morning to find himself on yet another preseason watch list.
The Washington State quarterback was one of 30 players named to the watch list for the Manning Award – given to the nation’s top signal-caller.
Idaho’s Matt Linehan, coming off a season that saw him lead the Vandals to a bowl win, cracked the watch list for the first time.
Falk was on the watch list last year and was one of the last 10 quarterbacks standing when the voting committee announced its finalists. Seven of last year’s finalists are on the list this year, including J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Luke Falk (Washington State), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma).
Falk, Browning and Darnold are the only Pac-12 Conference quarterbacks on the list.
Of the 30 players named, Falk was the only quarterback to eclipse 300 completions in 2016. The fourth-year starter completed 443 passes, threw for 4,468 yards and 38 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions.
Linehan, one of three Sun Belt Conference quarterbacks on the list along with Troy’s Brandon Silvers and Appalachian State’s Taylor Lamb, led the Vandals to a 9-4 record and completed 257-of-415 passes for 3,184 yards and 19 touchdowns.
O’Connell recognized by Sports Illustrated
Washington State left guard Cody O’Connell was recognized Wednesday as a Sports Illustrated Preseason All-America first teamer.
SI said this about the Cougars’ redshirt senior: “There’s nothing like a good guard controversy in postseason awards balloting: O’Connell garnered All-America nods from SI, the Associated Press and other outlets but was slapped with Honorable Mention status on the All-Pac-12 teams. That mistake won’t be made twice – he’s a big reason the Cougars have built up a dangerous running game to pair with Mike Leach’s Air Raid sensibilities.”
O’Connell’s inclusion isn’t a surprise after the Wenatchee native was named a unanimous All-American in 2016. The 6-7, 354-pound guard was also a finalist for the Outland Trophy.