Redshirt junior quarterback Connor Bazelak was selected for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watchlist Wednesday, according to an Indiana football Twitter post. The annual award gives recognition to the nation’s top upperclassman quarterback.
The news of the selection comes shortly after Indiana’s 23-20 win over Illinois last Friday night. Bazelak went 28/52, throwing 330 yards and a touchdown. Bazelak also orchestrated the Hoosiers’ game-winning drive in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter against the Fighting Illini.
[Related: COLUMN: Indiana football somehow pulls off improbable comeback thanks to Connor Bazelak's heroics]
Head coach Tom Allen appointed Bazelak as the starting quarterback over redshirt senior Jack Tuttle earlier in the week, but the selection was made public only minutes before the Friday night kickoff. Allen said in media availability at the beginning of the season that he plans to keep the starter consistent, barring injury or other extreme cases.
Bazelak joins 11 other Big Ten quarterbacks on the watchlist, including Illinois’ senior quarterback Tommy DeVito. Previous winners of the award include former Indianapolis Colts star Peyton Manning in 1997 and current Colts quarterback Matt Ryan in 2009.
If Bazelak won the award, he would be the first Hoosier quarterback to do so and the first Big Ten quarterback since Connor Cook in 2015. The winner of the award will be announced Wednesday Decmeber 7th.