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Michigan State Football: Payton Thorne named to Manning Award preseason watch list

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Michigan State at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The preseason watch list honors continue to mount for Payton Thorne, the Michigan State Spartans’ redshirt junior quarterback, as the returning starter was named to the Manning Award watch list.

The Manning Award is an annual award selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowl games. Created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the award honors the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, and is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

After earning the starting job last season, Thorne went on to set a school single-season record with 27 touchdown passes in 2021. He finished the season 234-of-388 passing (.603) for 3,233 yards, 27 TDs, and 10 interceptions. Thorne threw for 200-plus yards in eight games and 300-plus yards in three games. He finished the season with a career-high 354 yards in a 31-21 victory over No. 12 Pitt in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

The preseason watch list includes 30 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2022 season. Last season, Thorne was named the Manning Award National Quarterback of the Week following the win at No. 24 Miami in which he completed 18-of-31 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns.

Fellow Big Ten quarterbacks Sean Clifford (Penn State), Aidan O’Connell (Purdue), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), and Taulia Tagovailoa, Jr. (Maryland) join Thorne on the watch list.

Additionally, Thorne has been named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watchlist, was named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list, presented annually to the top quarterback in college football, and the Maxwell Award watch list, given out each year to the “most outstanding player” in college football. Thorne was joined by his teammate, redshirt senior wide receiver Jayden Reed, on the Maxwell Award watch list. In case you do not remember hearing this detail from broadcast announcers multiple times on television during games last season, Reed and Thorne were also high school teammates.