Fresno State's Derek Carr heads Johnny Unitas finalists

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Monday, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr accepted an invitation to the prestigious Senior Bowl. Tuesday, he was named as one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

The quarterback award goes to a senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with his class. In addition to their on-field exploits, finalists are judged on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement and leadership.

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The other finalists also are seniors: Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, Alabama's A.J. McCarron and Georgia's Aaron Murray.

The winner will be announced Dec. 13 in Baltimore.

Boyd is averaging 296.0 passing yards per game, with 24 TDs, seven interceptions and a 66.7 completion percentage. He also has eight rushing TDs and has had six 300-yard games this season.

Carr is second in the nation in TD passes (32) and passing yards per game (380.1). He is completing 69.5 percent of his passes and has thrown four interceptions. Carr has had seven 300-yard games and six games with at least four TD passes.

Lynch is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. He is averaging 221.6 passing yards per game, with 21 TDs, five interceptions and a 65.5 completion percentage. He also is averaging 127.3 rushing yards per game, a figure that is 10th nationally. Lynch also has 14 rushing TDs.

McCarron averages 222.8 passing yards per game and has 21 TD passes and five interceptions. He has guided Alabama to the past two national titles and has the Tide on track for a third consecutive appearance in the title game.

Murray averages 289.2 passing yards per game, with 22 TDs and eight interceptions. He set SEC career marks for TD passes and passing yards this season. He has two 400-yard games this season.

Last season's winner was Kansas State's Collin Klein, and other past winners include Peyton Manning (1997), Matt Ryan (2007) and Andrew Luck (2011).

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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