MSU’s Thorne on Davey O’Brien and Maxwell award watch lists

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

EAST LANSING — Michigan State redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne has been named to the Davey O’Brien Award Preseason Watch List, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced Tuesday. The group features 35 of the nation’s top returning college quarterbacks.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. The 46th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner honoring the winner will be held Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

Thorne was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List for the nation’s most outstanding player on Monday.

After a record-setting season in his first year as the starting quarterback, Thorne is back for the Spartans in 2022. Thorne set a school single-season record with 27 touchdown passes in 2021, surpassing Kirk Cousins, who previously held the record with 25 touchdowns in 2011. Thorne also ranked among MSU’s single-season leaders in total offense (third with 3,414 yards), passing yards (third with 3,233), passing yards per game (third with 248.7), passing efficiency (sixth with 148.1 rating), pass completions (tied for sixth with 234) and pass attempts (seventh with 388). Overall in his first year as the starting quarterback, Thorne was 234-of-388 passing (.603) for 3,233 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media, Thorne was especially effective at throwing the ball downfield, ranking tied for sixth in the FBS with 14 TD passes of 20-plus yards and tied for ninth with eight completions for 50-plus yards. He threw for 200-plus yards in eight games and 300-plus yards in three games, including a career-high 354 yards in MSU’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl victory over No. 12 Pitt.
The official Davey O’Brien Midseason Watch List will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 18, and will contain all active quarterbacks from the Preseason Watch List, all players honored as a weekly Great 8 recipient through the season’s first seven weeks and any additional quarterbacks approved by the selection subcommittee.

The Midseason Watch List will then be pared down to the 35-player Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2022 on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Fan voting on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) will again play a role in the semifinalist, finalist and winner voting totals when combined with the national selection committee’s ballots. Voting will begin on Oct. 25.

Sixteen semifinalists selected from the QB Class will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Monday, Nov. 21). The 2022 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 8, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.