Joe Milton III Named to Watchlist for Prestigious Award

Joe Milton

Joe MiltonTennessee quarterback Joe Milton III against Bowling Green. (Photo via Tennessee Athletics).

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III has been named to the Davey O’Brien award watchlist, the Davey O’Brien foundation and Tennessee announced on Tuesday.

The Davey O’Brien award is the most prestigious quarterback award rewarded to the nation’s best college quarterback every year.

Milton joins 34 other quarterbacks across the nation to make the preseason watchlist.

The full list can be seen here.

Milton and Tennessee will face off against two fellow quarterbacks on the watchlist in UTSA’s Frank Harris and Kentucky’s Devin Leary. The Vols battle UTSA in Week 4 in Neyland Stadium and Kentucky in Week 8 in Lexington.

Three other SEC quarterbacks joined Milton and Leary on the list, as Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Mississippi State’s Will Rogers all made the cut.

TCU’s Max Duggan won the award last season, beating out fellow finalists Caleb Williams (USC) and C.J. Stroud (Ohio State).

The O’Brien Award joined the Heisman Trophy as two awards many in the college football community, not just Tennessee fans, thought snubbed Hendon Hooker as a finalist.

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Landing on the Davey O’Brien Award watchlist is another example of the hype building around Joe Milton entering this season.

The strong-armed signal caller is heading into his sixth and final season of eligibility and third year on Rocky Top. Milton is coming off an above-average end to the 2022 season in which he started Tennessee’s final two games of the season.

More specifically, Milton was brilliant in the Vols’ 31-14 Orange Bowl victory over Clemson. The Pahokee, Florida, native completed 19 of 28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns against a vaunted Clemson defense, leading the Vols to their first New Year’s Six Bowl victory in the CFP era.

Milton has all the tools to become one of college football’s best and most dangerous quarterbacks, but we’ve never seen the gunslinger be great over an extended period of time.

Milton has a golden opportunity to put himself in the conversation among college football’s best quarterbacks and significantly improve his draft stock this year at Tennessee, and he’ll aim to start the season off on the right foot when the Vols battle Virginia in Nashville on September 2 for the season opener.

The recipient of the Davey O’Brien award is announced on ESPN’s annual award show following the season. Other awards given out on the show are the Biletnikoff Award for wide receivers, which Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt won in 2022, the Doak Walker Award for running backs, the Maxwell Award for best overall player, and many others.

Author: Ethan Moore