Beck Named to O'Brien Watch List

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PROVO, Utah (Aug. 18, 2005) -- Junior quarterback John Beck has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2005 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, presented annually to the nation's top college quarterback. The Davey O'Brien Foundation has compiled a list of 33 quarterbacks that will be watched throughout the season.

"It's an honor to be named among this list of players," Beck said. "BYU has had a long tradition of past Davey O'Brien winners and finalists. It's great to have our program recognized again in this way."

Beck was the Cougars' starting quarterback as a sophomore in 2004 and saw action in eight games in 2003, including four starts. He became only the second true freshman to start at quarterback in BYU history when he took the field against Stanford, Sept. 20, 2003. In 2004 Beck established himself as one of the top passers in the Mountain West Conference, earning second-team All-MWC while leading the league at 261.0 passing yards per game against league opponents.

For the 2004 season, Beck passed for 2,563 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 56 percent of his attempts. He also had at least one 50-plus yard completion in six of 11 games. Against No. 21 Boise State, Beck threw for a career-high 390 yards and two touchdowns, 79 yards to Todd Watkins and 57 to Austin Collie. Beck posted an efficiency rating of 204.8 against San Diego State by completing 15-of-25 attempts for 313 yards and three touchdowns. It was the highest rating by a BYU quarterback since early in the 2001 season.

Along with being named to the O'Brien watch list, Beck has been named preseason All-MWC by several publications and the top passing quarterback in the conference by Street & Smith's. Phil Steele's College Football Preview ranked Beck as one of the top-40 quarterbacks in the country.

Former BYU quarterback Jim McMahon was the first Cougar to win the award (1981), followed by Steve Young in 1983 and Ty Detmer in both 1990 and 1991. Robbie Bosco finished second in the balloting in 1984 and Steve Sarkisian finished third following the 1996 campaign.

Beck is the fifth Cougar to be named to a watch list for a major award this season. The others include: junior linebacker Cameron Jensen (Bronko Nagurski Trophy), senior offensive lineman Lance Reynolds (Rimington Trophy), junior offensive lineman Jake Kuresa (Outland Trophy) and junior tight end Daniel Coats (Mackey Award).

The O'Brien Award is the oldest and most prestigious award in the country for college quarterbacks and is named in honor of the late Davey O'Brien. O'Brien led the TCU Horned Frogs to the 1938 national championship and was the first player to win the Heisman, Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards in one season.

Semifinalists will be announced in early November as voted on by the O'Brien Selection Committee, a nationwide panel of sportswriters and commentators, as well as former O'Brien Award winners. The committee will then narrow the field to three finalists and then the winner. The winner of the 2005 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award will be announced on the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

Written by BYU Athletic Communications

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