by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – A former LHS student-athlete has found himself on another prestigious list for excelling in the game of football! Ball State redshirt Senior, Drew Plitt, was placed on the watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award just two weeks after being placed on the watch list for the Manning Award, which recognizes the top-performing quarterback in America.

The Golden Arm Award was named after Johnny Unitas, an 18-year NFL veteran, who began his stellar football career with the Baltimore Colts in 1958. Unitas was not only responsible for creating football’s 2-minute drill he also racked up some very impressive stats throughout his career. 

The recipient for the Golden Arm Award each year is selected by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Selection Committee. The top Senior quarterback is chosen based on their performance on and off the field. This year Plitt joins Kent State’s Dustin Crum on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list. Plitt and Crum are the only MAC quarterbacks on the list. 

2020 Golden Arm Award Watch List

Jack Abraham, Southern Miss
Jake Bentley, Utah
James Blackman, Florida State
Ian Book, Notre Dame
Alan Bowman, Texas Tech
Myles Brennan, LSU
Charlie Brewer, Baylor
Chase Brice, Duke
Anthony Brown, Oregon
Shane Buechele, SMU
Sean Clifford, Penn State
Jack Coan, Wisconsin
K.J. Costello, Mississippi State
Dustin Crum, Kent State
Micale Cunningham, Louisville
Sam Ehlinger, Texas
Justin Fields, Ohio State
Feleipe Franks, Arkansas
Chase Garbers, California
Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee
Donald Hammond III, Air Force
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
Hendon Hooker, Virginia Tech
Josh Jackson, Maryland
Mac Jones, Alabama
D’Eriq King, Miami

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Levi Lewis, Louisiana
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
Dylan McCaffery, Michigan
Davis Mills, Stanford
Kellen Mond, Texas A & M
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota
Jamie Newman, Georgia
Patrick O’Brien, Colorado State
Asher O’Hara, Middle Tennessee
Brandon Peters, Illinois
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Drew Plitt, Ball State
Brock Purdy, Iowa State
Peyton Ramsey, Northwestern
Shawn Robinson, Missouri
Anthony Russo, Temple
Nick Starkel, San Jose State
Zach Smith, Tulsa
Zac Thomas, Appalachian State
Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
Kyle Trask, Florida
Brady White, Memphis
Zach Wilson, BYU
Terry Wilson, Kentucky

To read more about Plitt’s phenomenal career thus far at Ball State click the following link: Former LHS Student-Athlete Listed on Pre-Season Manning Award Watch List!

After the MAC made the decision to postpone all scheduled fall contests in 2020, as well as MAC championships, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plitt expressed his feelings on the cancellation and the honor of being placed on the Golden Arm watchlist.

“This has been an unexpected and frustrating year for us and the cancellation of the season was extremely disappointing. The team was playing really well having a lot of fun and enjoying the little bit of normal we were experiencing when on the field for practice,” Plitt explained, “For all us, football is an escape from reality, a time to forget everything else in the world, put on the helmet and pads and be a kid again and it’s very disappointing and very frustrating that we won’t be playing and really didn’t have much say in the entire decision making. The award watchlist is a tremendous honor and really a testament to my teammates because, without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. It’s awesome to be apart of the watchlist but I’ve got other things on my mind like winning a MAC championship first and foremost! That’s what our team wants, the awards come when a team performs great and wins.”

If you would like to read the MAC’s full announcement about postponing Fall sports click the following link: MAC Announces Postponement of Fall Sports

Plitt’s parents Steve and Julie said they couldn’t be prouder of their son’s accomplishments and hope they will get to see him play his final college season.

“As Drew moves through each phase of his sports career and life he continues to amaze me and make me proud. This is just another example,” Julie Plitt said, “He is privileged to have great coaches and players to help him in this journey.”

Bryce, Julie, Marie, Steve, and Drew Plitt at Marie’s volleyball Senior night in 2019

“For me personally, being raised and growing up in Baltimore, this resonates deeply inside. Johnny Unitas went to our church and I saw him there often,” Steve Plitt explained, “His youngest son graduated from the same high school as I did.  Johnny Unitas was the pinnacle of success in Baltimore, not for just being maybe the best QB of all time, but his time off the field spent in the community helping others. My roots are from Baltimore, and I know that there is a little of that ‘blue-collar’ Baltimore grit in Drew’s spirit as well. Johnny U was my father’s favorite QB, Drew never had the chance to meet his grandfather, so in some way this connection is both humbling and very, very special for me.”  

Here at Loveland Magazine, we want to congratulate Drew Plitt for representing Loveland in such a positive way! We admire Plitt’s hard work and dedication and commend his parents for raising such a top-notch student-athlete! We will be rooting for you Drew when you get back out on the field!

For more of Ohio and Loveland’s sports updates stay tuned to the Sports 411 With ME, Cassie Mattia!

Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Associate Editor of Loveland Magazine.