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2016 Davey O'Brien Award watch list

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Clemson's Deshaun Watson is be the first back-to-back winner of the Davey O'Brien Award in more than a decade.

First Look:
NFL Media analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah takes a "first look" at college football's top players for 2016.

Watson was among 30 quarterbacks named to the 2016 O'Brien Award watch list on Thursday. Watson won the award in 2015, and can become the first player to win consecutive O'Brien Awards since Oklahoma's Jason White did so in 2003-04.

Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield -- one of three finalists for the award last season -- is among the notable top contenders for the award again this season. Ohio State's J.T. Barrett -- a semifinalist for the award in 2014 -- is also among the top quarterbacks on the watch list. Also included on the watch list are Ole Miss' Chad Kelly, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Washington State's Luke Falk, Miami's Brad Kaaya, Texas Tech's Pat Mahomes, Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and Houston's Gary Ward, Jr., all of whom rank among the top 10 quarterbacks to watch this college football season by NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein.

The O'Brien Award is named for former TCU quarterback Davey O'Brien, who is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. O'Brien was a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1939 NFL Draft, but played just two seasons in the NFL.

The winner of the Davey O'Brien Award will be announced on Dec. 8.

Watch lists for other awards will be released this month as follows:

July 5: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
July 6: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
July 7: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
July 8: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
July 11: Jim Thorpe Award
July 12: Butkus Award / Rotary Lombardi Award
July 13: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
July 14: Davey O'Brien Award / Doak Walker Award
July 15: Walter Camp Award / Paul Hornung Award

16 for '16:
CFB 24/7 counts down the best of what college football has to offer in varying categories for 2016.

2016 Davey O'Brien Award watch list


Tommy Armstrong Jr., Nebraska
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
C.J. Beathard, Iowa
Jake Browning, Washington
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
Dane Evans, Tulsa
Luke Falk, Washington State
Quinton Flowers, South Florida
Skyler Howard, West Virginia
Brad Kaaya, Miami (Fla.)
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State
Mitch Leidner, Minnesota
Wes Lunt, Illinois
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
Tanner Mangum, BYU
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Nick Mullens, Southern Miss
Josh Rosen, UCLA
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Cooper Rush, Central Michigan
Seth Russell, Baylor
Brett Rypien, Boise State
Anu Solomon, Arizona
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
Zach Terrell, Western Michigan
Phillip Walker, Temple
Greg Ward Jr., Houston
Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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