Aug. 8, 2007
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has announced the names of the players to watch for the Manning Award, which is given to college football's top quarterback, and California junior quarterback Nate Longshore was among the list of signal callers from around the country chosen on Wednesday.
In addition, Cal continued its fall drills in Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, practicing for 30 periods in shells for the first time. The offense shined in the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, as senior running back Justin Forsett broke a pair of long runs, including a screen play that went for a 68-yard touchdown. Longshore also had several big passes to DeSean Jackson (40 yards) and a 65-yard touchdown toss to senior wide out Lavelle Hawkins.
A pair of freshmen also made key plays during the tutorials. Running back Jahvid Best juked a few defenders and picked up a nice gain down the sideline in the 7-on-7s, while safety D.J. Campbell knocked down an intended pass for a receiver.
Cal continues practice tomorrow in shells, before wearing full pads on Friday. As a reminder, all California football practices are CLOSED to the public.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, and will be presented to the recipient following the holiday bowl season. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances. The winner will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Manning's.
"We are excited about this year's Manning Award Watch List class," said Raymond Jeandron Jr., President of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. "In our season of crowning college football's best team, it will be another honor to announce college football's best quarterback in our home city following the Allstate BCS National Championship Game."
"We have another talented group of quarterbacks to watch from coast to coast," Archie Manning said. "We've had some phenomenal players earn this award so far and this year should be no exception." The first three winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who's Who list at the quarterback position. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Last season, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award, capped by his performance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. All three players went on to become first round draft picks in the NFL.
Finalists for the award will be announced prior to the beginning of the bowl season.
Longshore joins juniors Alex Mack, Zack Follett, and DeSean Jackson and senior Craig Stevens, all of whom that have been prominent on national Watch Lists. Mack is on three Watch Lists including the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center). Follett landed a spot on the Bednarik Trophy list (nation's top defensive player) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Jackson secured a place on the Maxwell Trophy list which honors the nation's most outstanding player. Stevens landed a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List -- given annually to the nation's top tight end.
California opens the 2007 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, hosting Tennessee at Memorial Stadium in a 5 p.m. contest. Season tickets are currently available by visiting www.CalBears.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.