HOOVER, Ala. -- Big things are expected of Nick Marshall this fall.
Those expectations continue to land him preseason publicity heading into the 2014 season, as Auburn's starting quarterback was named to the Davey O'Brien Award watch list on Tuesday. The award is annually presented to the nation's best college quarterback. Criteria considered include the quarterback's skills and athletic ability, academics, reputation as a team player and a host of other characteristics.
Florida State's Jameis Winston won the award last year and he was named to the preseason watch list this year. If he captures it again this season, he'll become only the fourth player to win the award twice, joining BYU’s Ty Detmer (1990-91), Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (1995-96) and Oklahoma’s Jason White (2003-04).
Winston was joined on this season's watch list by five other semifinalists from last year who are back this fall: Brett Hundley (UCLA), Sean Mannion (Oregon State), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Bryce Petty (Baylor).
Last season, Marshall threw for 1,976 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition, he had 1,068 rushing yards and 12 scores on the ground. After coming out on top of a four-way quarterback battle in fall camp, Marshall led the Tigers to a 12-2 record en route to SEC championship and a berth in the BCS title game.
He was cited for marijuana possession last week in Reynolds, Ga., and it is unknown whether he will miss any time, as Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has yet to announce any punishment for the senior signal-caller.
The O'Brien award is the second preseason honor for Marshall, as he was named to the Maxwell Award watch list July 7.
The 16 semifinalists for this year's award will be announced Nov. 3. The award's selection committee will then reveal the three finalists on Nov. 24.
The winner will be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 11.