West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is among the five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is presented to the nation's top college quarterback.
Smith has thrown for 3,041 yards and 31 touchdowns through the Mountaineers' first nine games. For
his career, he has thrown for 10,498 yards and 87 touchdowns.
The 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented Dec. 7 in Baltimore.
Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the National Football League, joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958 after playing his college football at the University of Louisville.
He threw for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns, which includes passing for a touchdown in 47 consecutive games. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and he was named to the NFL's 25th, 50th and 75th anniversary teams as the top quarterback.
Past winners of the award include Peyton Manning, 1997; Carson Palmer, 2002; Eli Manning, 2003;
Colt McCoy, 2009; and Andrew Luck last season.
Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award are used to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, which provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving student-athletes in Maryland and Kentucky.
Candidates for the award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior who is on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon their character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.
Joining Smith in this elite group are fellow Big 12 Conference quarterback Collin Klein of Kansas State who has thrown 12 touchdowns this season; Matt Barkley of Southern California, who has thrown for 113 touchdowns and 12,026 yards in his career; E.J. Manual of Florida State, who has completed 66.9 percent of his career passing attempts; and A.J. McCarron of Alabama, who has thrown for 20 touchdowns and has only been intercepted twice in 238 attempts this fall.