With Toby Gerhart running off to the National Football League, the focus of the Stanford offense this season shifts to sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck. That fact certainly isn't lost on at least one awards committee that has listed Luck as the first of 30 named to The Manning Award Watch List, given to college's top quarterback each season.
The award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, will release one name each day from mid-July through early August, on its its website, allstatesugarbowl.org/ManningAward and via facebook and twitter. Votes will be tabulated following the completion of every bowl game in January.
Last year, Luck led the Cardinal to its first Bowl Game since 2001, producing an 8-4 regular season record, before missing the Sun Bowl due to a finger injury. The redshirt freshman led the Pac-10 in passing efficiency with a 143.5 mark and threw for a Stanford freshman record 2,575 yards with 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Luck, again, will have his favorite targets in Ryan Whalen (16.2 yards per catch) and Chris Owusu (18.4 ypc) as the Cardinal open the season September 4, at home, against Sacramento State.
The Manning Award, created in 2004 in honor of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning will announce its 10 finalists on November 29 and the winner, January 19.
Kenny Diekroeger and Mark Appel were named to the 2010 New England Collegiate Baseball League East Division All-Star Team on Tuesday. The 17th annual All-Star Game will be held on July 18 at Cardines Field in Newport, R.I.
Diekroeger was named as the starting shortstop for the East, honoring his impressive offensive season for the Newport Gulls. Diekroeger leads the league with a .383 average.
Appel is also having a great season for the Gulls, posting a 1.78 ERA with four wins in 25.1 innings over five games.
Both players are coming off great freshman campaigns for the Cardinal and look to polish their skills this summer in preparation for next spring.
It has been a star-studded summer for the Cardinal, as teammates Eric Smith and Chris Reed recently were named to the Atlantic Collegiate Summer Baseball League West All-Star team and Stanford lefthander Brett Mooneyham was named to Collegiate National Team on Sunday.