Andrew Luck can add another achievement to his already stellar resume as Stanford's star quarterback won the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, which is given to the nation's top quarterback who exemplifies character as well as scholastic and athletic achievement.
“Andrew personifies everything that my father stood for. He is not simply an outstanding quarterback, but an outstanding individual, a leader both on and off the field,” says John C. Unitas, Jr. President of The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
Luck passed for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns for a 167.5 passer rating in leading fourth ranked Stanford to an 11-1 record.
In addition to his on-field achievements, Luck also posted a 3.48 grade point average and was also named to the PAC-12's All-Academic team.
Other finalists for the 2011 Golden Arm Award were: Robert Griffin, III, Baylor; Landry Jones, Oklahoma; Kellen Moore, Boise State; and Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State.
Unitas notes, “Andrew joins a long line of quarterbacks who embody the characteristics that made Johnny Unitas an enduring legend, including many who have gone on to illustrious careers in the NFL.” Former winners include Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).
Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.
Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.
The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and one that may stand forever – throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.