Marshall’s Grant Wells named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week
NEW ORLEANS (November 19, 2020) – Grant Wells, a redshirt freshman at Marshall University, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Wells notched career-highs in nearly every passing category, including yards and touchdowns, as he led the undefeated Thundering Herd to a 42-14 victory over Middle Tennessee. He completed 25-of-37 passes for 336 yards and five touchdowns.
The Charleston, W. Va., native’s 7-0 record ties him for the second-longest FBS win streak to start a career as the starting QB in school history (Chase Litton, 2015). He has been named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week three times this season while leading the Thundering Herd to a perfect 7-0 mark (4-0 C-USA) and the No. 15 ranking in the country.
For the season, Wells has completed a league-best 65.6% of his passes (126-of-192) for 1,674 yards with a league-best 16 touchdown passes. The 16 TD passes are second in the FBS among freshmen quarterbacks, trailing only Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (18).
Marshall’s scheduled game for this weekend with C-USA East Division rival Charlotte has been postponed as a result of Covid-19 testing within the 49ers’ program. The Thundering Herd is scheduled to host Rice on Saturday, December 5. That game, which will be carried on one of the ESPN platforms, has a start time that has yet to be determined.
Wells won this week’s award over Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Kaleb Eleby of Western Michigan. Corral completed 28-of-32 passes for a career-best 513 yards and four touchdowns, while also running for a score, as he led the Rebels to 21 unanswered points to close a 59-42 comeback victory over South Carolina. Eleby completed 20-of-29 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns to lift Western Michigan to a 41-38 MAC victory over Toledo. In the final minute of the game, he ran for a TD and passed for a TD to clinch the victory.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, inclusion on the Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Finalists are scheduled to be announced in mid-December and the winner will be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In its first 16 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) and the Southeastern Conference (Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) lead the way with five Manning Award honorees each, while and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell) joins Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) as the only schools with two different winners.
All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.
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