Big Ten puts three on Davey O'Brien list

The Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award joined the preseason watch list parade today, and three Big Ten signal-callers are featured among the 34 honorees.

It's going to be a crowded race, as five O'Brien semifinalists from 2012 have returned to campus. That includes Ohio State's Braxton Miller, who was also one of three finalists last season.

So there's no surprise that Miller is on the preseason watch list. Joining him from the Big Ten is Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Michigan's Devin Gardner. No upsets there, either. Martinez completely deserves the recognition as a four-year starter who could smash several career Cornhuskers records. Gardner has only started five games in his career, all at the end of last season, but he was impressive in that stretch and has a chance to usurp Miller and Martinez as the best Big Ten quarterback this season.

With a lot of uncertainty at quarterback elsewhere in the Big Ten, and with Kain Colter splitting time with Trevor Siemian at Northwestern, it's understandable that Miller, Martinez and Gardner are getting all the attention and preseason accolades.

Of course, some guy named Johnny Manziel -- didn't I see him on the news the other day? -- is on the list, along with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, Georgia's Aaron Murray and several other standouts. Picking the top quarterback in the country this year won't be an easy task.