by Cassie Mattia
Loveland, Ohio – As Fall sports finally take flight another Loveland Tiger is being recognized for their outstanding athletic abilities! On July 30th, The Allstate Sugar Bowl announced that Loveland High School 2016 graduate and stand-out student-athlete, Drew Plitt, would be placed on the preseason Manning Award Watch List, which is the ONLY quarterback award that takes the recipient’s bowl performances into consideration before the winner is selected.
The Manning Award was created to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning. The prestigious watch list includes 30 of the top quarterbacks in the United States going into the 2020 season. The winner will be chosen by national media and each of the Mannings after the bowls have concluded and will be announced after the College Football Playoff National Championship. Plitt is one of two MAC quarterbacks on the Manning Watch List this year.
Here is the list of the preseason 2020 Manning Watch List recipients:
2020 MANNING AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST (2019 STATS)
| Name, Cl., School
|Jack Abraham, Jr., Southern Miss||275-405||.679||3,496||19||15||64.1||6 TDs|
|Holton Ahlers, Jr., East Carolina||264-442||.597||3,387||21||10||57.8||359 yds, 6 TDs|
|Ian Book, Sr., Notre Dame||240-399||.602||3,034||34||6||76.3||546 yds, 4 TDs|
|Charlie Brewer, Sr., Baylor||251-389||.645||3,161||21||7||69.2||344 yds, 11 TDs|
|Shane Buechele, Sr., SMU||307-490||.627||3,929||34||10||72.5||105 yds, 2 TDs|
|Sean Clifford, Jr., Penn State||189-319||.592||2,654||23||7||76.8||402 yds, 5 TDs|
|Jack Coan, Sr., Wisconsin||236-339||.696||2,727||18||5||82.0||4 TDs|
|Dustin Crum, Sr., Kent State||216-312||.692||2,622||20||2||73.7||707 yds, 6 TDs|
|Micale Cunningham, Jr., Louisville||112-179||.626||2,065||22||5||83.9||482 yds, 6 TDs|
|Jayden Daniels, So., Arizona State||205-338||.607||2,943||17||2||64.4||355 yds, 3 TDs|
|Sam Ehlinger, Sr., Texas||296-454||.652||3,663||32||10||77.6||663 yds, 7 TDs|
|Justin Fields, Jr., Ohio State||238-354||.672||3,273||41||3||92.1||484 yds, 10 TDs|
|Dillon Gabriel, So., UCF||236-398||.593||3,653||29||7||68.0||4 TDs|
|Sam Howell, So., North Carolina||259-422||.614||3,641||38||7||72.3||NA|
|Trey Lance, So., North Dakota State||192-287||.669||2,786||28||0||—||1,100 yds, 14 TDs|
|Trevor Lawrence, Jr., Clemson||268-407||.658||3,665||36||8||87.3||563 yds, 9 TDs|
|Levi Lewis, Sr., Louisiana||243-378||.643||3,050||26||4||72.5||195 yds, 3 TDs|
|Kellen Mond, Sr., Texas A&M||258-419||.616||2,897||20||9||73.5||500 yds, 8 TDs|
|Tanner Morgan, Jr., Minnesota||210-318||.660||3,253||30||7||84.2||NA|
|Bo Nix, So., Auburn||217-377||.576||2,542||16||6||63.8||313 yds, 7 TDs|
|Drew Plitt, Sr., Ball State||238-370||.643||2,918||24||7||55.3||171 yds, 5 TDs|
|Brock Purdy, Jr., Iowa State||312-475||.657||3,982||27||9||71.2||249 yds, 8 TDs|
|Chris Reynolds, Jr., Charlotte||181-291||.622||2,564||22||11||67.3||767 yds, 6 TDs|
|Chris Robison, Jr., FAU||291-471||.618||3,701||28||6||58.8||2 TDs|
|Kedon Slovis, So., USC||282-392||.719||3,502||30||9||81.1||NA|
|Zac Thomas, Sr., Appalachian State||225-359||.627||2,718||28||6||69.0||440 yds, 7 TDs|
|Skylar Thompson, Sr. Kansas State||177-297||.596||2,315||12||5||70.2||405 yds, 11 TDs|
|Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Jr., UCLA||216-362||.597||2,701||21||12||56.6||198 yds, 4 TDs|
|Kyle Trask, Sr., Florida||237-354||.669||2,941||25||7||81.3||4 TDs|
|Brady White, Sr., Memphis||269-420||.640||4,014||33||11||74.3||4 TDs|
Archie Manning couldn’t express enough how excited he is to see what he thinks is a fantastic group of quarterbacks on the Watch List this year.
“Our Watch List is once again an exceptional group of candidates, but every year is a new year and we’ll be watching closely to add the best newcomers to the list after we get things rolling,” Manning said, “I’d also like to thank the Allstate Sugar Bowl for sponsoring this award; it means a lot to the entire Manning family that they include our name in recognizing the best quarterbacks in the country.”
Plitt, son of locals Steve and Julie, is very familiar with the art of playing collegiate sports as his father played baseball at Xavier, his mother played volleyball at Xavier, his brother Bryce also played baseball at Xavier, and his sister Marie plays volleyball at Ball State.
Before Plitt headed to Ball State himself to play football he was a top-notch student-athlete at Loveland High School. Plitt was a member of the National Honor Society all while earning multiple awards in both basketball and football. As a Junior Plitt was Team Captain, MVP, and First-Team All-Conference in basketball. In football, Plitt received All-Conference twice as well as Honorable Mention All-District as a Senior. Plitt helped lead the Loveland Tigers to a 2013 state title and still has the school record for career passing touchdowns (42).
In 2016, Plitt joined the Ball State Football Team as a fourth-string quarterback and made the decision to redshirt his freshman season. As Plitt worked his way up the roster in 2017 he received his first opportunity as a quarterback on October 26th against Toledo. Plitt ended up scoring a touchdown during the 3rd quarter giving him the confidence he needed to perform in his first collegiate start against Eastern Michigan. Plitt exceeded everyone’s expectations throwing a season-high of 169 yards and two touchdowns!
In Plitt’s 2018 season with Ball State, he became the 2nd string quarterback. During the season Plitt had the longest completion for the year coming in at 63 yards against Central Connecticut. Plitt had multiple successful games during the 2018 season earning him MAC West Offensive Player of the Week, the 2018 Ball State Ray Louthen Award (most improved player), and the MAC All-Academic Award.
During Plitt’s Junior year was when he really took on the leadership role at Ball State starting in all 12 games as the quarterback. Not only did Plitt help lead Ball State to be at the top of the MAC in scoring (34.8 points per game) and total offense (463 yards per game) he also led the MAC personally in touchdown passes (24), placed second in passing yards per game (243.2), and ranked fourth in total offense (257.4 yards per game). All of Plitt’s impressive 2019 stats earned him several accolades; the MAC’s West Offensive Player of the Week twice, the 2019 Ball State Co-Offensive Player of the Year, the MAC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Week, and the 2019 MAC All-Academic Award. After the completion of the 2019 Ball State Football Season Plitt gained the eighth-place spot on the Cardinals All-Time Passing Chart with 4,356 yards, he tied for “Most Touchdown Passes in One Game” with six touchdown passes against Fordham, and he also holds the fifth-place spot for “Most Passing Yards in a Single Season” with 2,918.
Ball State’s 2020-2021 Football Season is bound to be a phenomenal one as the team will have 16 starters returning. Last year the Cardinals battled for the MAC West Division Title winning some very important games against Northern Illinois and MAC Champions Miami. The Ball State coaching staff, team, and spectators have high hopes for Plitt’s Senior season and can only hope that Plitt will help lead them to a 2020 MAC Title!
Here at Loveland Magazine, we want to congratulate Drew Plitt on all his Ball State successes! We can’t wait to see how Plitt’s Senior season with the Cardinals turns out and we hope that he remains on the Manning Watch List through the entire season! If you would like to get information on how you can watch Plitt play football this year click here.
Be sure to follow the Ball State Cardinals Football Team for the latest news @BallStateSports, @BallStateFB, and @BSUCoachNeu. You can also visit the Ball State Football Team’s webpage at https://ballstatesports.com/sports/football.
Stay tuned for the latest Sports 411 with me, Cassie Mattia!