Nov. 1, 2006
BALTIMORE, Md. - University of Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb today was named one of five senior quarterbacks to be selected as finalists for the 2006 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior collegiate quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc.
Kolb joins BYU's John Beck, Brady Quinn of Notre Dame, Troy Smith of Ohio State and Michigan State's Drew Stanton as one of the five finalists. These five star quarterbacks were selected by a committee of football experts from across the United States.
"After years of playing getting named to watch lists, that is the furthest it goes for a lot of people," said Kolb. "To be a finalist is pretty neat for me. I hope they actually consider me for the award, but we have to win for the team first. That's the way it has been the whole season, and it will continue to be like that.
UH head coach Art Briles, who has coached Kolb in all four years at Houston, is pleased to see this recognition bestowed upon his signal-caller.
"First of all, I am extremely proud for Kevin. He has been an ambassador for our University and our football program for the last four years. From that standpoint, when people do right, act right, work right and believe right, you're happy when good things happen to them. I am extremely proud for him.
"From the standpoint of our University and our football program, it definitely puts us in an elite light across the nation. There are only five universities represented, and the University of Houston is one of them."
The 2006 recipient will be announced December 1, 2006, with the award presentation to be made on December 8, 2006 at the Tremont Grand Meeting & Banquet Facility, in downtown Baltimore, Maryland.
This prestigious award bears the name of who many refer to as the finest quarterback to ever play the game of football. Established in 1987, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has previously honored 19 outstanding young men.
USC quarterback Matt Leinart won the award last year. Other past recipients include Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1987), Rodney Peete (USC, 1988), Tony Rice (Notre Dame, 1989), Craig Erickson (Miami, Fla., 1990), Casey Weldon (Florida State, 1991), Gino Torretta (Miami, Fla., 1992), Charlie Ward (Florida State, 1993), Jay Barker (Alabama, 1994), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska, 1995), Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Cade McNown (UCLA, 1998), Chris Redman (Louisville, 1999), Chris Weinke (Florida State, 2000), David Carr (Fresno State, 2001) Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003) and Jason White (University of Oklahoma, 2004).
In addition to honoring a player with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to deserving scholar athletes from local area high schools both in Maryland and Kentucky.
The Transamerica Insurance and Investment Group, a leading provider of innovative business and personal financial services, is our major corporate and presenting sponsor for the award and organization. Additional sponsors include Stanton Communications, a public relations firm specializing in public affairs, corporate counseling, business marketing and crisis communications for corporations and nonprofit organizations, the Tremont Grand, a distinctive reception and conference facility with five floors and over 45,000 square feet of meeting space, and Round 2 Communications, an award-winning brand development, marketing strategy and internet communications firm focused on one important goal - revenue growth for your business.
The namesake of the award has a storied history which has earned him the recognition of being the Greatest Quarterback to ever play in the NFL.
An 18-year veteran of the NFL, Unitas played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville (1951-1954), passing for 3007 yds and 27 TDs. Unitas, who wore #19 as a professional, had his # 16 collegiate uniform retired at Louisville, the lone number retired by the Cardinals.
Johnny Unitas began his 18 year pro career with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and played there until joining the San Diego Chargers for his final season. His career passing figures are mind boggling. He completed 2,830 of 5,186 passes for 40,239 yds and 290 TDs during his 18 year NFL career. Among his many records is one that may stand forever, throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Unitas was recently selected as the top quarterback of all-time by the Pro Football Hall of Fame 36 member selection committee. In commemorating the NFL's 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries, he was also honored as the GREATEST QUARTERBACK OF ALL TIME. A Pro Bowl participant 10 times and a THREE-TIME MOST VALUABLE PLAYER honoree, Johnny Unitas was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979. In turn of the century listings, Johnny was featured among SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S top ten athletes, TIME's ten most influential athletes and in ESPN's series on the 50 Greatest Athletes of the Century.
Additional information on the Golden Arm Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. may be obtained from John Unitas, Jr.