Press Release:  Allstate Sugar Bowl

The Allstate Sugar Bowl announced today the names of the 10 finalists for the 2008 Manning Award, given to college football’s top quarterback.

This year’s 10 finalists include: Erik Ainge (Tennessee), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Colt Brennan (Hawaii), Chase Daniel (Missouri), Dennis Dixon (Oregon), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Matt Ryan (Boston College), Tim Tebow (Florida), Patrick White (West Virginia) and Andre’ Woodson (Kentucky).

"Each year, the competition for the Manning Award intensifies," said Ray Jeandron, Sugar Bowl President. "This season, there were many outstanding performances as quarterbacks across the country displayed tremendous character and led their teams with great success. Our 10 finalists are all representative of this success and worthy of being honored with this prestigious award."

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. The winner will be announced following the holiday bowl season.  It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performance.

"We are excited about this year’s class of finalists," Archie Manning said. "We had our most impressive preseason list of candidates and the expectations of these young men were very high. These quarterbacks have lived up to and exceed those expectations in what has been an unprecedented college football season."

The finalists were determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings.

The first three winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who’s Who list at the quarterback position. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Last season, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award, capped by his performance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. All three players went on to become first round draft picks in the NFL