More than 30 members of the New Orleans Clemson Club attended the Manning Award Ceremony on May 17th in support of this year’s recipient, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson’s mother and aunt also attended the ceremony that is hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Brandon Streeter represented the football staff, and Stewart Summers represented the Alumni Association at the event.
Cooper Manning, son of Archie Manning and brother of Peyton and Eli Manning, presented the award to Watson on behalf of the Manning family. The Manning Award, now in its 12th year, was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. The award is voted on by a panel of local and national media, as well as each of the Mannings.
Watson, the first sophomore to win the Manning Award, had 405 yards passing and 73 yards rushing for 478 yards of total offense against Alabama’s No. 2 ranked defense on Monday night in the National Championship game. The Crimson Tide defeated Clemson 45-40.
Nationally, Watson ranked first in the nation in QBR (87.8), third in the nation in points responsible for with 282, fifth in completion percentage (.678), eighth in touchdown passes with 35, eighth in total offense per game (347.3) and 12th in passing efficiency at 156.3. In addition to the Manning Award, Watson was named the consensus All-America quarterback, was third in the Heisman Trophy balloting, was the Most Valuable Player of the ACC and was the MVP of the ACC Championship game and the Orange Bowl.
Photo credit: Dawson Powers