Louisville QB Malik Cunningham named to pair of watch lists
The expectations for Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham are not only high here locally.
Nationally, Cunningham is garnering plenty of attention and has been named to two if the premier watch lists in college football in as many days.
On Monday, the Louisville signal caller was named to the watch for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the most outstanding player in college football.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham was named to the watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football. The award is proudly sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes' Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club.
Cunningham, who enters his third season as the starter, is coming off a productive 2020 season. The product of Montgomery, Ala., threw for a career best 2,615 yards and 20 touchdowns, while rushing for 609 yards and seven scores.
The redshirt junior averaged 293.1 yards of total offense, which ranked fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 20th nationally. Cunningham rushed for 197 yards in a loss to Virginia and added 133 yards on the ground at Boston College. The 6-foot-2 signal caller threw for a career best 350 yards at home against Virginia Tech.
The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert "Tiny" Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sportswriter and football official.
The Maxwell Award watch list will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast, and will feature fresh faces, as 2020 winner DeVonta Smith (Alabama) and finalists Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Mac Jones (Alabama) have all moved on to the NFL.
The list features six returning semifinalists from 2020 including Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Breece Hall (Iowa State), D'Eriq King (Miami), Sam Howell (North Carolina), and Dillon Gabriel (UCF). The full list consists of 80 players, with 14 schools having two players represented.
And then today, Cunningham was added to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, the award given to the nation's best quarterback.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Davey O'Brien Foundation revealed the 2021 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List on Tuesday, a group that includes University of Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham and 29 other top quarterbacks across the nation.
Compiled by a subset of the Davey O'Brien National Selection Committee, this year's list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2020 college football season.
The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. Appearing on the preseason watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the award.
Malik Cunningham is well on the national landscape of college football as a player who has the potential to be one of the best throughout the country.
The key for Cunningham is cutting down on turnovers, and making smarter decisions with the ball.
Louisville kicks off the 2021 season in Atlanta against Ole Miss on Labor Day Weekend.