NEW ORLEANS, La. — Eric Soza was one of 30 quarterbacks named to the 2013-14 Manning Award preseason watch list, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced on Friday. Soza is the first Roadrunners football player ever to be named to a national award preseason watch list.
The Beeville native owns a 12-8 record (.600) in two seasons as UTSA’s starting quarterback and he is the program’s all-time leading passer (338-for-589/4,233 yards/34 TDs) and rusher by attempts (162 for 649 yards).
Soza is coming off a junior campaign that saw him complete 166-of-282 (58.9 percent) passes for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns, including a program-record four at No. 22 Louisiana Tech (Nov. 3). His 314 passing yards against the Bulldogs and 82-yard TD toss to Kenny Bias at New Mexico State (Sept. 29) also were school marks. The 6-foot, 205-pounder threw just three interceptions and, at one time, went a Football Bowl Subdivision-leading 256 passes between picks. He also ran for 364 yards and six TDs on 67 carries (5.4 avg.) and tied a program record with three rushing scores at Idaho (Nov. 17).
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 award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
This year’s group of signal callers was selected in conjunction with the release of ESPN’s new "Total Quarterback Rating" (QBR) and the nation's top 30 returning quarterbacks according to the QBR make up the watch list. The winner still will be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media, as well as the Manning family, after the bowl season is complete.
Now in its 10th year, the award previously has recognized USC’s Matt Leinart (2005), Texas’ Vince Young (2006), LSU’s JaMarcus Russell (2007), Boston College’s Matt Ryan (2008), Florida's Tim Tebow (2009), Texas' Colt McCoy (2010), Auburn’s Cam Newton (2011), Baylor's Robert Griffin III (2012) and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel (2013) as the nation's top quarterback.
Additional signal callers may be added to the watch list after the start of the season. Ten finalists will be named on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
2013-14 Manning Award Watch List
· David Ash, Texas, Jr. (77.2 QBR)
· Blake Bortles, UCF, Jr. (72.9)
· Tajh Boyd, Clemson, Sr. (82.2)
· Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Jr. (78.1)
· Terrance Broadway, Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr. (76.9)
· Kolton Browning, Louisiana-Monroe, Sr. (68.6)
· Derek Carr, Fresno State, Sr. (64.1)
· Rakeem Cato, Marshall, Jr. (68.8)
· Kain Colter, Northwestern, Sr. (65.3)
· Cody Fajardo, Nevada, Jr. (75.6)
· David Fales, San Jose State, Sr. (78.4)
· Brett Hundley, UCLA, So. (68.8)
· Chuckie Keeton, Utah State, Jr. (76.4)
· Taylor Kelly, Arizona State, Jr. (65.7)
· Logan Kilgore, Middle Tennessee, Sr. (60.3)
· Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois, Sr. (74.7)
· Sean Mannion, Oregon State, Jr. (62.5)
· Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, So. (90.5)
· Marcus Mariota, Oregon, So. (87.3)
· Taylor Martinez, Nebraska, Sr. (70.4)
· A.J. McCarron, Alabama, Jr. (81.1)
· Braxton Miller, Ohio State, Jr. (68.4)
· Stephen Morris Miami (Fla.), Sr. (59.6)
· Aaron Murray, Georgia, Sr. (78.4)
· Bryn Renner, North Carolina, Sr. (63.6)
· Connor Shaw, South Caolina, Sr. (64.6)
· Brett Smith, Wyoming, Jr. (74.6)
· Joe Southwick, Boise State, Sr. (68.9)
· Eric Soza, UTSA, Sr. (62.3)
· Bo Wallace, Mississippi, Jr. (60.0)