July 19, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert was named to the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List, announced the Golden Arm Foundation on Wednesday (July 19).
The watch list boasts 47 standout quarterbacks from different divisions and conferences across the nation. The Golden Arm Award is presented at the end of each football season and the winner is selected based on his accomplishments both on and off the field. Candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class.
Benkert (Cape Coral, Fla.) threw for 2,552 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2016. He set the UVA single-game record for passing yards with 421 against Central Michigan. Benkert became the first Cavalier quarterback to amass at least 1,000 combined passing yards over his first four career starts. He also tied Matt Schaub’s (2003) program record for reaching 2,000 passing yards the fastest in a season (eight games).
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. After three decades of honoring quarterback achievements, the Golden Arm Award is the only college football award that has 10 previous recipients still competing in the NFL.
The Golden Arm Award committee will announce the Top 15 finalists for the 2017 Golden Arm Award in September. The 30th Anniversary presentation of the Golden Arm Award will be held on Fri., Dec. 8 at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & Grand.
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 throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Proceeds from the event help support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.