Joe Milton III Named Candidate For Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

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KNOXVILLE, TN - November 12, 2022 - Quarterback Joe Milton III #7 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Missouri Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Avery Bane/Tennessee Athletics

BALTIMORE — The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., along with presenting sponsor A. O. Smith Corporation announced Tuesday afternoon that Tennessee redshirt senior quarterback Joe Milton III is one of 48 candidates for the 2023 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

The preseason Watch List, semifinalists, finalists, and award recipient are selected by the distinguished Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers and former players. The award annually recognizes the top senior or upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with their class. This year’s watch list was selected based on career player performance and expectations heading into the 2023 college football season.

Tennessee’s strong-armed signal caller from Pahokee, Florida, has garnered several accolades heading into his sixth and final season of college football. A preseason All-SEC pick by the media and Phil Steele, Milton has been tabbed to preseason watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award in addition to Tuesday’s nod on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award preseason ledger.

Milton enters his third season at Tennessee in 2023 after serving as UT’s backup quarterback last fall. He was thrust into action as the starter in the final two games of the 2022 campaign and 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.

The 2023 award winner will be presented the Golden Arm Award trophy by The Johnny Unitas Educational Foundation President, John Unitas, Jr., as well as other notable attendees at the Golden Arm Award banquet and celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland on Thursday, December 7, 2023.

2023 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors

Sr. DE Tyler Baron
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Sr. LB Aaron Beasley
Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List
All-SEC Second Team (Lindy’s)
All-SEC Third Team (Athlon)

Sr. OL Cooper Mays
Rimington Trophy Watch List
All-SEC Second Team (Lindy’s)
All-SEC Third Team (Coaches, Media)
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Sr. WR Bru McCoy
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon, Coaches, Media, Phil Steele)

Sr. QB Joe Milton III
Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List
Davey O’Brien Award Watch List
Maxwell Award Watch List
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Candidate
All-SEC Third Team (Media, Phil Steele)

R-Sr. LB Keenan Pili
Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Watch List

Sr. RB Jabari Small
Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate List

Sr. OL Javontez Spraggins
All-SEC Second Team (Lindy’s)
All-SEC Third Team (Coaches, Media)

Sr. DL Omari Thomas
All-SEC First Team (Lindy’s)

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
Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate List
All-SEC Third Team (Lindy’s)
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Source: UT Sports

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