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Sean Clifford Named To 2021 Manning Award Preseason Watch List

Penn State football quarterback Sean Clifford has been named to the 2021 Manning Award preseason watch list.

The award, which is named after Peyton, Eli, and Archie Manning, annually recognizes college football’s best quarterback, and it’s the only honor that takes bowl performances into consideration. This is the second consecutive year Clifford has landed on the preseason watch list.

Clifford is among 32 quarterbacks on the list. He’s one of three Big Ten signal-callers selected, joining Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz and Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. No Big Ten quarterback has won the award since its inception in 2004.

Alabama star Mac Jones received the honor last year and was later drafted No. 15 overall by the New England Patriots in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Coincidentally, Clifford attended the Manning Camp this summer and was able to learn from the Mannings while preparing for the upcoming season.

“It was awesome,” Clifford said at Penn State’s media day. “When you get to learn from some of the best quarterbacks ever in Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, and even Archie Manning, Cooper Manning. The whole family was there, and then being able to see guys that I haven’t seen in forever, quarterbacks across the country that I’ve had great relationships with throughout the years, it was a fun experience just to see everybody but also great to be able to compete, size yourself up against this guy, this guy, this guy.”

Coming off an up-and-down 2020 campaign, Clifford is aiming to bounce back this season under new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. Last season, Clifford scored 19 touchdowns (16 passing, three rushing) but turned the ball over 12 times. His nine interceptions were tied for the most in the Big Ten.

This is the second watch list Clifford has been named to this offseason. Last month, he landed on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is college football’s premier award for community service.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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