Washington State University quarterback Gardner Minshew II has won the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Presented by A. O. Smith. The prestigious award is given annually to the nation’s top quarterback who best exemplifies character, scholastic and athletic achievement.
Minshew has completed 433 of 613 passes for a total of 4,477 yards (71% completion rate), throwing for 36 touchdowns with just nine interceptions and a QB rating of 148.4. Minshew has endeared himself to Cougar fans across the country, not only because of the “Minshew Mustache,” but his penchant for late-game heroics. He has led WSU on game-winning, fourth quarter drives against Utah, Stanford and California. In the fourth quarter this season, Minshew has completed 92 of 127 passes (72% completion rate) for 1,169 yards, 13 touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Presented by A. O. Smith has been presented at the end of each college football season since 1987. Candidates must be college seniors or fourth-year juniors on schedule to graduate with their class. In addition to accomplishments on the field, candidates are judged on their character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, team work and leadership qualities.
Minshew’s achievements were honored Dec. 7 in Baltimore. Former NFL quarterback and 2010 Golden Arm Award recipient, Scott Tolzien, delivered the keynote remarks at this year’s event.
Past standout winners of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Presented by A. O. Smith 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); Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011); Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014); Connor Cook (Michigan State, 2015); Deshaun Watson (Clemson, 2016); and last year’s winner, Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State 2017).