App State senior quarterback Zac Thomas is a repeat selection for the Manning Award watch list.
The list features 30 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2020 season. The only quarterbacks appearing on both the 2019 and 2020 lists because of their sustained excellence are Thomas, Notre Dame’s Ian Book, Baylor’s Charlie Brewer, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Memphis’ Brady White.
In addition to the Manning Award, Thomas has been named to the 2020 watch lists for the Maxwell Award (most outstanding player in college football) and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
“It sure has been a unique offseason, but we’re still looking forward to the prospect of seeing a great group of quarterbacks compete this year,” Archie Manning said. “Our watch list is once again an exceptional group of candidates, but every year is a new year, and we’ll be watching closely to add the best newcomers to the list after we get things rolling.”
Thomas has a 22-3 record as a starter after leading App State to a 13-1 record and top-20 final ranking in 2019. Before his junior season, he placed second in the passing skills competition as a summer counselor at the Manning Passing Academy.
Thomas accounted for 35 touchdowns (28 passing) and 3,158 total yards (2,718 passing) last season, increasing his career totals to 67 total TDs (49 passing) and 5,779 total yards (4,790 passing). In two seasons as a starter, he was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 and a first-team All-Sun Belt pick by PFF College in 2019.