Joe Milton III Earns Spot on Davey O’Brien Award Watch List

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Joe Milton III
Joe Milton III (photo by UT)

FORTH WORTH, Texas – The Davey O’Brien foundation revealed Tuesday that redshirt senior quarterback Joe Milton III is one of 35 quarterbacks named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list.

The award is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award and is presented to the nation’s best college quarterback each year.

The strong-armed signal caller from Pahokee, Florida, was one of five SEC quarterbacks tabbed to the watch list.

Milton enters his sixth collegiate season and third at Tennessee in 2023. After serving as Tennessee’s backup quarterback last fall, Milton was thrust into action as the starter in the final two games of the 2022 campaign. He engineered the Tennessee offense to a 56-0 victory at Vanderbilt to close out the regular season before capping the year with an MVP performance in the Capital One Orange Bowl as the Vols took down No. 7 Clemson, 31-14.

Milton was marvelous in Miami Gardens, firing 19-of-28 passes for 251 yards and a career-high tying three touchdowns to lead UT to its first New Year’s Six bowl victory during the College Football Playoff era (2014-present). The win punctuated Tennessee’s first 11-win season since 2001 and first win in the Orange Bowl since defeating Oklahoma in 1939.

The veteran quarterback has made 17 appearances for Tennessee with four starts over the past two seasons, and he finished the 2022 campaign completing 53-of-82 (.650) passes for 971 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions. Of the 114 FBS quarterbacks to throw 10 or more touchdowns last year, Milton was the only one to have zero picks.

On Oct. 17, the official Davey O’Brien Midseason watch list will be released and will include all active quarterbacks from the preseason watch list.

The 35-man Davey O’Brien QB Class of 2023 will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Fan voting will occur through social media and will play a heavy part in the semifinalist, finalist and winner voting totals when combined with the national selection committee’s ballots. Voting will begin on Oct. 24.

The list of semifinalists selected from the QB Class will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The Foundation will announce the three finalists two weeks later (Tuesday, Nov. 21). The 2023 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 7, during The Home Depot College Football Awards.

A complete list of Tennessee’s preseason honors can be found below.

2023 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors
Sr. DE Tyler Baron

All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Sr. LB Aaron Beasley

All-SEC Third Team (Athlon)

Sr. OL Cooper Mays

Rimington Trophy Watch List

All-SEC Third Team (Media)

All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Sr. WR Bru McCoy

All-SEC Second Team (Athlon, Media, Phil Steele)

Sr. QB Joe Milton III

Davey O’Brien Award Watch List

Maxwell Award Watch List

All-SEC Third Team (Media, Phil Steele)

Sr. OL Javontez Spraggins

All-SEC Third Team (Media)

R-Sr. TE Jacob Warren

Mackey Award Watch List

Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Nominee

So. WR Squirrel White

All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Sr. RS Dee Williams

All-American Fourth Team (Phil Steele)

All-SEC Third Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Jr. RB Jaylen Wright

All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Source: UT Sports

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