Zappe Named a 2021 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Semifinalist

FORT WORTH, Texas — WKU Football quarterback Bailey Zappe was named a Semifinalist for the 2021 Davey O’Brien Award, it was announced Tuesday afternoon. The graduate transfer is only the second Hilltopper to earn this distinction, joining Brandon Doughty during his record-setting 2015 season.

Zappe is 1-of-20 players remaining on the National Quarterback Award’s list, and UTSA’s Frank Harris is the only other Conference USA quarterback.

Through nine games, the Victoria, Texas, native has completed 308-of-441 passes (69.8%) for 3,688 yards, with 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions, while also adding three rushing scores. The 3,688 yards and 37 scores through the air lead the nation; 131 yards (Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong has 3,557) and three touchdowns (SMU’s Tanner Mordecai has 34) ahead of the No. 2 player in each category.

Zappe has thrown for three-plus touchdowns in all nine games, and 365-plus yards in 8-of-9 contests so far this season. His 409.8-yard average extrapolates to 5,327 over a 13-game season and 5,737 over a 14-game season, which would rank as the eighth or second-best campaign ever by an FBS quarterback. His 4.1-touchdown average extrapolates to 53 over a 13-game season and 57 over a 14-game season, which would rank as the fourth or third-best season ever by an FBS quarterback.

The other 19 semifinalists are: Armstrong, Harris, Mordecai, Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, Oregon’s Anthony Brown, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, Fresno State’s Jake Haener, Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Mississippi State’s Will Rogers, Nevada’s Carson Strong, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams, Liberty’s Malik Willis and Alabama’s Bryce Young.

The next step in the process will be to select the award’s three finalists based on voting from the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee as well as the second round of the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote, which will take place on the award’s three social media accounts—Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The top five vote-getters on each platform will receive bonus committee member ballots which will be added to the votes cast by the National Selection Committee.

The three finalists will be tabbed on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The winner will be announced live on Thursday, Dec. 9 on The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

The Davey O’Brien Foundation was created in 1977, and the National Quarterback Award, the oldest and most prestigious college quarterback award, was first issued in 1981. It is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback, honoring candidates who exemplify Davey O’Brien’s enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics.