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Kentucky's Stephen Johnson on Johnny Unitas Golden Arm List

Cats' senior quarterback among Top 20 players nationally at his position.

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Stephen Johnson throws a touchdown pass in last week's game against Missouri.
Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated

Kentucky's Stephen Johnson has been named one of the top candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, it was announced Wednesday.

Johnson, a senior quarterback, is one of 20 players at his position nationally to earn a spot on the watch list. He has completed 99 of 155 passes (64 percent) for 1,238 yards and nine touchdowns with only two interceptions while rushing for 144 yards and two scores at the season's midpoint.

The California native ranks fifth among SEC players in total offense (230.3 ypg). he is 37th nationally in passing efficiency (147.5).

Johnson has compiled a 12-4 record for Kentucky over the last 16 regular season games, the best mark by any UK quarterback going back to the 1977-78 season.

The Golden Arm Award is presented at the end of each season since 1987 to the nation’s top college quarterback, based on his accomplishments both on and off the field. Candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class.

In 2017, The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, December 8th, in Baltimore, MD.

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Past standout winners of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award include: Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997); Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003); Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006); Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007); Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009); and Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011), Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) Last year’s winner Connor Cook (Michigan State,2015) Last year’s winner Deshaun Watson, Clemson.


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