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Oct. 25, 2010

University of South Carolina junior quarterback Stephen Garcia is one of 10 midseason additions to the 2010 Manning Award Watch List, it was announced on Monday.

Garcia, a 6-2, 227-pounder from Lutz, Fla., has completed 124-of-172 pass attempts (72.1 percent) for 1,681 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He ranks fifth in the country with a pass efficiency rating of 170.2.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

After announcing 33 quarterbacks to watch during the preseason, the Manning Award opted to increase its focus players based on the many outstanding performances during the first half of the year. While these players have been added to the Watch List, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible to win the honor.

“There have been many young quarterbacks as well as some veterans who have really stepped up this year,” said Archie Manning. “We have decided to add 10 players who have really stood out, both individually and through team success. But I want to stress that every quarterback in the country remains eligible to win the Manning Award. We still have half of the season to go and we all know that the second half is where most stars truly make their mark.”

Ten finalists will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings. That list will be released on Monday, Nov. 29. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The Manning Award will be recognizing its seventh winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Last year’s winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history. McCoy was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft.