The award is presented annually to the nation's top senior collegiate quarterback by the Frank Camp Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation in Louisville, Ky.
McKinley enters his senior season as the Cougars starting quarterback for the fourth consecutive year-the first signal-caller in Houston history to be a four-year starter. McKinley also had 30 consecutive starts at quarterback, dating back to his freshman season in 1997. His streak is the longest active streak in the nation for Division I-A quarterbacks, and his 30 starts are only one shy of 31 starting assignments by Arizona State's Ryan Kealy and Jay Stoner of Wyoming.
Last season McKinley led the Cougars to a 7-4 record, including three straight to end the season. He was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week against LSU in leading the Cougars to a 20-7 upset of the Tigers in Baton Rouge.
For his career McKinley ranks in the top 10 in all major passing categories, and with the Cougars move to a more wide-open, passing attack in 2000, he has an outside shot at eclipsing some of the hallowed UH marks. McKinley is fourth in completions (532), attempts (957) and yards (5,998), fifth in total offense (5,712) and total plays (1,029) and seventh in touchdown passes (32).
The nation's top senior quarterback is selected for the award from a list compiled by a select committee of football experts from across the United States. The committee will choose five finalists plus any ties and announce the list on October 25. The 2000 recipient will be announced November 21, with the award presentation to be made in Louisville on December 8. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas will attend the ceremony to make the official presentation at the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel in Louisville.
McKinley joins Cougar teammates Mike Clark (Ray Guy Award) and
Wayne Rogers (Dick Butkus Award) as candidates for national accolades.