FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Davey O’Brien Foundation announced the 2014 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list Wednesday, a group that includes 39 of the nation’s top college quarterbacks.

This year’s list, which was compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2014 college football season. All nominees were required to have started at least one college game previously.

Jameis Winston of Florida State, the 2013 Davey O’Brien winner, headlines the list. He is bidding to become the fourth quarterback ever to win the award twice, joining BYU’s Ty Detmer (1990-91), Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (1995-96) and Oklahoma’s Jason White (2003-04).

Winston is joined on the watch list by five semifinalists from a year ago: Brett Hundley (UCLA), Sean Mannion (Oregon State), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Bryce Petty (Baylor).

Nearly half (19 of 39) of the players on the watch list are seniors. Thirteen juniors and seven sophomores round out the contingent. Among conferences, the Pac-12 leads the way with eight signal callers on the list. The Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC are all represented by five players.

Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement for a player to win the Davey O’Brien Award. Quarterbacks from all 125 Football Bowl Subdivision schools are eligible for the award until the field is narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Nov. 3. The Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce three finalists on Nov. 24. The 2014 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 11.

Related:
Complete Davey O'Brien Award watch list