Last year at this time, if you asked many people who Greg McElroy was, they would all probably just tell you he is the first-time starting quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, unless you were from the state of Texas. This year, after leading the Tide to the 2009 National Championship against the Texas Longhorns, McElroy has garnered some more national attention. He has been added to two preseason award watch lists, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and most recently the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award was established in 1987 and is given to the nation’s most outstanding senior quarterback in college football. Recent winners have included Matt Ryan (Boston College: 2007), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech: 2008), and last season’s winner, Colt McCoy from the Texas Longhorns.
McElroy is one of the 22 members on the watch list in 2010. Alabama’s last quarterback to make the list was in 2008 when John Parker Wilson led the Tide his senior season, and the last Tide quarterback to win the award was Jay Barker, who won the trophy in his 1994 campaign.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award was first awarded to Jim McMahon of BYU in 1981 and is given annually to the NCAA’s top quarterback. The preseason list includes the top 30 quarterbacks across the country, including the only other SEC quarterback to make the list, Ryan Mallett of Arkansas. Colt McCoy also took home this award for his efforts in the 2009 season.
McElroy had an impressive first season as the Tide leader. He threw for 17 touchdowns (second-most in a season in Tide history) with only 4 interceptions. His completion percentage was 60.9%, and he threw for over 2,500 yards, all on his way to leading the Tide to a 14-0 season and its 13th National Championship.