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UMass QB Andrew Ford named to Unitas watch list

  • Massachusetts quarterback Andrew Ford (7) throws a pass while being pulled down by Hawaii linebacker Malachi Mageo (38) during the first quarter of the NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

  • UMass QB Andrew Ford was named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list Wednesday. AP

  • Gillette Stadium 10/15/16. Umass QB No.7 Andrew Ford, scrambles out of the pocket as he looks for a receiver in the end zone with Louisiana's No.45 Jaylon Ferguson barreling in on him in the 2nd Qtr.photo by J. Anthony Roberts

  • Massachusetts quarterback Andrew Ford (7) scrambles against South Carolina defensive lineman Darius English (5) and Taylor Stallworth (90) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina defeated Massachusetts 34-28. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

  • Andrew Ford (7) of University of Massachusetts runs with the ball during the Umass football game against Florida International University Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Amherst.

  • Andrew Ford (7) of University of Massachusetts runs with the ball during the Umass football game against Florida International University Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Amherst.

  • Andrew Ford (7) of University of Massachusetts throws the ball during the Umass football game against Florida International University Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Amherst.



@MattVautourDHG
Thursday, July 20, 2017

A year ago Andrew Ford was just competing for a chance to play. Now he’s competing for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, which announced its preseason watch list Wednesday.

The gilded honor goes to the nation’s top senior quarterback for accomplishments on and off the field. Fourth-year juniors like Ford, are also eligible if they are on track to graduate with their class, which he is.

Ford is one of 47 passers on the watch list, which will be narrowed to 15 in September. The award will be bestowed on Dec.8 in Baltimore, Unitas’ hometown.

“The Golden Arm Award values character, citizenship, integrity, leadership, and sportsmanship – characteristics that were displayed by my father. These attributes were every bit as important as the quarterback’s completion rate or the number of touchdowns scored,” says John C. Unitas, Jr., President of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. “Despite his many accolades, my Dad never forgot his humble beginnings and that won him a permanent place in the hearts of everyone who ever knew him.”

Ford, a 6-foot-3 Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, native, transferred to UMass last year after spending one year at Virginia Tech and one in junior college.

Ross Comis won the starting quarterback job out of camp. Ford unseated him in Game 3. They shared in the job in games five and six before a season-ending injury to Comis.

Ford found his stride down the stretch. In 10 games he completed 222-of-365 passes for 2,665 yards. He threw 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

He joins Adam Breneman (Mackey Award, Biletnikoff Award, Wuerffel Trophy), Andy Isabella (Biletnikoff), Steve Casali (Nagurski Award) and Logan Laurent (Guy Award) on preseason watch lists.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage