Manning, Navarre also in the running

B.J. Symons of Texas Tech is one of seven finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the nation's top college senior quarterback, the team announced Wednesday.

Other finalists include Mississippi's Eli Manning, Michigan's John Navarre, Oklahoma's Jason White, North Carolina State's Philip Rivers, Tulane's J.P. Losman, and Virginia's Matt Schaub.

Symons leads the nation in passing yards (3,506) and has posted the top three passing games of the season, including a season high of 661 yards against Mississippi, third best in NCAA history. He also is the leader in passing yards per game (500.9) and touchdown passes (32).

The winner will be announced Dec. 4.

The award is named for the man who has been regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. Johnny Unitas, who played for Louisville (1951-54), was an 18-year veteran with the Baltimore Colts. He led the Colts to two NFL titles (1958-59) and a Super Bowl victory (1971). He also was a three-time league MVP (1959, '64, '67), passing for 40,239 career yards and 290 TDs. He died in 2002.

Past Unitas Award winners include the Cincinnati Bengals' Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), the Houston Texans' David Carr (Fresno State, 2001), the Carolina Panthers' Chris Weinke (Florida State, 2000), the Baltimore Ravens' Chris Redman (Louisville, 1999) and the Panthers' Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).