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Michigan State Football: Payton Thorne named to Davey O’Brien Award watch list

NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Michigan State at Pittsburgh Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason recognition continues for Michigan State redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne, as he was named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list on Tuesday.

The Davey O’Brien Award is presented annually to the top quarterback in college football. Thorne is one of just 35 quarterbacks in the country to make the 2022 preseason watch list.

The award — named after the late Davey O’Brien, who played quarterback for TCU in college and for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL in the late 1930s and early 1940s — was established by the Davey O’Brien Foundation in 1977.

In 2021, Thorne earned All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades. He completed 234 of his 388 passing attempts (60.3 percent), while throwing for 3,233 yards and a program record 27 touchdown passes with 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 181 yards and four additional touchdowns.

On Monday, Thorne was named to the 2022 Maxwell Award watch list, along with redshirt senior wide receiver Jayden Reed. Thorne, Reed and fifth-year safety Xavier Henderson will join Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker in Indianapolis to represent the Spartans at Big Ten Media Days on July 27.

Michigan State has never had a quarterback win the Davey O’Brien Award. The full list of players who made the 2022 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award preseason watch list can be viewed in the tweet below:

The official Davey O’Brien midseason watch list will be released on Oct. 18, and the foundation will also release weekly lists of its “Great 8” nominees throughout the season. The winner of the award will be announced on Dec. 8, while the 46th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner honors the winner on Feb. 20, 2023.