LOGAN, Utah – Utah State senior quarterback Diondre Borel was announced as a member of the Manning Award Watch List on Saturday, as he is the fifth player named by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in its daily release of honorees. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances. Ten finalists will be selected in late-November and the winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, will release one name each day from mid-July through early August, on its website, allstatesugarbowl.org/ManningAward and via facebook and twitter. Votes will be tabulated following the completion of every bowl game in January. “It’s an amazing honor to be among the top 30 quarterbacks in the country. I never thought I would be among the top 30 and just didn’t expect to be named with some of the great quarterbacks in the NCAA. It is also amazing to be on a watch list for an award named for the terrific Manning quarterbacks. I wouldn’t be on this list without the help from my team, and I share this honor with them,” Borel said. Borel, a native of Oakley, Calif. (Freedom HS), enters his senior season with hopes of continuing last season’s breakout and record-setting year and continue his ascent up the USU record books. He also enters his senior season with six school records in his pocket, as he is the USU record holder for single-season total offense (3,343 yards, 2009), single-season rushing yards by a QB (632 in 2008), career rushing yards for a QB (1,098 yards, 2007-pres.), single-season fewest interceptions thrown (four in 2009), consecutive passes without an interception (228 in 2009) and single-game passing yards per completion (21.1 on 316 yards on 15 completions vs. Southern Utah, 2009). “It’s a great accomplishment for Diondre to be on the preseason national watch list. It is another step to him reaching his goals and an honor for him to be recognized among the best quarterbacks in the country. He will be the first to say that it is from the support and success of his team that he get an individual honor like this preseason watch list,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. Last season, Borel led the WAC and ranked 15th in the FBS in total offense at 278.6 ypg, setting the USU record for single-season total offense with 3,343 yards. Borel was also third in the conference in passing average per game (204.4 ypg) as well as fifth in the league and 35th in the nation in passing efficiency (137.83). Additionally, Borel set the school record for fewest interceptions thrown with four, a mark that tied for second-fewest in FBS. Last season, he threw for 2,885 yards on 214-of-366 passing and threw 17 TD passes on the year. “Diondre has worked extremely hard to develop from a great athlete playing quarterback to getting national respect and recognition as a terrific quarterback who is also a great athlete,” Andersen said. Borel’s 3,343 yards of total offense last year is a USU single-season record, topping the previous mark of 3,260 yards by Anthony Calvillo in 1993. Entering this season with 21 consecutive starts, Borel is ranked sixth in school history for career total offense (5,690 yards), needing 3,101 to reach the No. 1 mark of 8.791 yards by Jose Fuentes from 1999-2002. “This honor motivates me to work even harder and help the team win, because when we win games, we as a team get recognized,” Borel said. “I want to work hard and hope to get in the top 10 finalists, but I just have to take it one step at a time and see how the season plays out.” The preseason Watch List recognizes some of the top quarterbacks in the nation based on previous collegiate performance, however, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible for the honor. Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Monday, Nov. 29. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The winner is selected by a panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings. Past winners of the award include Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Matt Ryan, JaMarcus Russell, Vince Young and Matt Leinart. Utah State will return 45 letterwinners (21 offense, 22 defense, two special teams), including 19 starters (eight offense, nine defense, two special teams), from last season’s 4-8 mark, the Aggies’ most wins since 2002. Utah State was 3-5 in WAC action, matching the 2008 season for top conference record in USU’s five years in the league. USU’s season-opener at Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 4 is tentatively slated for a 5 p.m. (MT) start, while the Aggies’ home-opener is Saturday, Sept. 11 vs. border-foe Idaho State at 6 p.m. (MT). Utah State football season ticket renewal applications have been mailed out. Fans can also renew online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu. For more ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) or (435) 797-0305. -USU-
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