By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - B.J. Daniels continues to earn a lot of national attention heading into the 2012 football season.
USF's redshirt senior signal caller is one of 34 standouts from around the country named to the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List. The award is given to the nation's best quarterback each year and the winner will announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards show Thursday, Dec. 6.
Daniels made significant progress in his second season in head coach Skip Holtz and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch's system in 2011. The Tallahassee native's 2,585 passing yards were 900 more than his 2010 total despite him playing in one less game last year. Daniels also became a better protector of the ball, throwing just seven interceptions after totaling 13 in 2010.
"I think B.J. has made some great improvement since we've been here," Holtz said. "He's really gotten past 'what to do' and he's really getting into the 'how to do it,' which is the step that you take from being a talented player to being a great player."
Another solid year from Daniels could make him a Big East record holder. He's racked up 7,973 combined yards and is 2,903 more away from breaking the conference's top career mark in total offense that currently belongs to former USF quarterback Matt Grothe (10,875).
Quarterbacks from all 124 Division I FBS schools are eligible for the Davey O'Brien Award until the field gets narrowed down to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Oct. 22. Three finalists will be announced on Monday, Nov. 19.
Fans can give Daniels a hand in the selection process as well. There will be a fan vote component in place starting Sept. 4 on www.VoteOBrien.org that counts as 5 percent during each round of voting. Fans can vote as often as once a day.
Here is the complete watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award that was announced Wednesday morning:
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State, Sun Belt
Matt Barkley, USC, Pac-12
Tajh Boyd, Clemson, ACC
Tyler Bray, Tennessee, SEC
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Big East
Alex Carder, Western Michigan, MAC
Derek Carr, Fresno State, MWC
B.J. Daniels, USF, Big East
Seth Doege, Texas Tech, Big 12
Cody Fajardo, Nevada, MWC
James Franklin, Missouri, SEC
Mike Glennon, N.C. State, ACC
Landry Jones, Oklahoma, Big 12
Collin Klein, Kansas State, Big 12
EJ Manuel, Florida State, ACC
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska, Big Ten
AJ McCarron, Alabama, SEC
Braxton Miller, Ohio State, Big Ten
Aaron Murray, Georgia, SEC
Riley Nelson, BYU, Independent
Casey Pachall, TCU, Big 12
Keith Price, Washington, Pac-12
Sean Renfree, Duke, ACC
Bryn Renner, North Carolina, ACC
Denard Robinson, Michigan, Big Ten
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois, Big Ten
Connor Shaw, South Carolina, SEC
Geno Smith, West Virginia, Big 12
Trent Steelman, Army, Independent
Tyler Tettleton, Ohio, MAC
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech, ACC
Jeff Tuel, Washington St, Pac-12
James Vandenberg, Iowa, Big Ten
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, SEC