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Four ACC QBs on watch list for O'Brien award

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Four ACC quarterbacks -- Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor, Georgia Tech's Josh Nesbitt, Wake Forest's Riley Skinner and NC State's Russell Wilson -- were named to the preseason watch list for the 2009 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Semifinalists from among the 33 candidates will be announced in late October and the winner will be announced on Dec. 10.

The O'Brien selection committee evaluates each candidate on quarterback skills and athletic ability, academics, reputation as a team player, character, leadership and sportsmanship.

Nesbitt, while he brings all of the intangible qualities, is somewhat of a surprise. He'll have to put up better numbers (and stay healthy) in order to have the kind of season worthy of this award, but he knows the offense better and should be a better quarterback for the Jackets this year.

Wilson -- as you've heard me say many times -- is the best quarterback in the ACC. Why, then, some of you have asked, did I put Skinner as my first-team All-ACC quarterback? Because Skinner is not being pushed by a backup as talented as Mike Glennon, who is guaranteed to play. Because he's not injury-prone like Wilson, and because he's on the verge of breaking several school records. Wilson is just beginning a stellar career. Skinner is wrapping one up.

2009 O'Brien Watch List:

Sam Bradford Oklahoma JR Big 12
Jarrett Brown West Virginia SR Big East
Daryll Clark Penn State SR Big Ten
Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame JR IND
Aaron Corp USC SO Pac-10
Robert Griffin Baylor SO Big 12
Matt Grothe South Florida SR Big East
Max Hall BYU SR MWC
Tim Hiller Western Michigan SR MAC
Jordan Jefferson LSU SO SEC
Colin Kaepernick Nevada JR WAC
Case Keenum Houston JR C-USA
Dan LeFevour Central Michigan SR MAC
Jake Locker Washington JR Pac-10
Ryan Mallett Arkansas SO SEC
Jeremiah Masoli Oregon JR Pac-10
Colt McCoy Texas SR Big 12
Kellen Moore Boise State SO WAC
Josh Nesbitt Georgia Tech JR ACC
Tony Pike Cincinnati SR Big East
Taylor Potts Texas Tech JR Big 12
Terrelle Pryor Ohio State SO Big Ten
Todd Reesing Kansas SR Big 12
Kevin Riley California JR Pac-10
Zac Robinson Oklahoma State SR Big 12
Riley Skinner Wake Forest SR ACC
Rusty Smith Florida Atlantic SR Sun Belt
Jevan Snead Ole Miss JR SEC
Tyrod Taylor Virginia Tech JR ACC
Tim Tebow Florida SR SEC
Adam Weber Minnesota JR Big Ten
Juice Williams Illinois SR Big Ten
Russell Wilson NC State SO ACC