BYU Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson split time in 2011 with Jake Heaps, but it was Nelson that put up the far better numbers and eventually took over the starting job on a permanent basis heading into the 2012 season. Heaps, of course, has transferred to play for Charlie Weis at Kansas, leaving Nelson to lead BYU's traditionally vaunted passing offense by himself.
In anticipation of this, Nelson has been named to the 2012 Davey O'Brien Award watch list. The award is given out to the best quarterback in the country, and though Nelson will put up numbers provided he stays healthy, he will have some stiff competition.
In 2011, Nelson threw for 1,717 yards and 19 touchdowns to seven interceptions. His QB rating of 152.94 would have been third in the nation had he qualified.