Pickett Named Finalist for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

Pitt Qb Kenny Pickett(#8) Looks to pass against the North Carolina State Defense in the Panthers Loss Saturday at Heinz Field (Photo credit : Vince Butts -UMT Sports)

Pitt’s Kenny Pickett Named Finalist for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awar

PITTSBURGH—Pitt senior quarterback Kenny Pickett, whose prolific passing has led the Panthers to the cusp of an ACC Championship Game berth, is a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, it was announced today by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation and presenting partner A.O. Smith.

Pitt Quarterbacks #12 Nick Patti and #8 Kenny Pickett During the Panthers win over the Tar Heels (Photo Credit: Vince Butts -UMT Sports)

Pickett is one of five finalists selected by the Golden Arm Award Selection Committee. The honor is annually presented to the top upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with his class.


His production this season has been elite. Through 10 games, Pickett has completed 68% of his passes (260 of 385) for 3,517 yards with 32 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Including his four rushing scores, he has accounted for 36 total TDs—three shy of the Pitt season record.


Pickett—who recently was given the “QB1” designation by ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay—is piloting the country’s No. 2 unit in total offense (531.1 yards per game) and No. 4 in scoring (43.5 points per game).



Pitt Quarterback Kenny Pickett Looking to pass against the Boston College Defense ( Photo: Credit Vince Butts -UMT Sports)

Pickett has distinguished himself among the nation’s quarterbacks with top-five FBS rankings in total offense (third, 374.8 yards per game), passing touchdowns (fourth, 32), total points responsible for (fourth, 216) and passing yards (fifth, 351.7 yards per game).


In addition to the Unitas Golden Arm Award, Pickett is a highly viable candidate for no fewer than five other prestigious awards, including the Heisman Trophy.


He is a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award (both presented to the college player of the year), as well as the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Pickett additionally is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes excellence on and off the field.

In addition to his athletic excellence, Pickett is accomplished academically and from a community and leadership standpoint. Pitt’s two-time team captain earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and is presently enrolled in the Katz Graduate School of Business. He has been nationally lauded for his NIL initiatives, which have emphasized philanthropy as well as his teammates.


The 2021 Unitas Golden Arm Award winner will be honored by the president of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation—John Unitas Jr.—at the Golden Arm Award banquet and celebration in Baltimore on Dec. 10.


Pickett has led the Panthers to an 8-2 overall record and first place in the Coastal Division with a 5-1 ACC mark. Pitt, No. 18 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, hosts Virginia on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Panthers can clinch the Coastal and a berth in the ACC Championship Game with a win over the Cavaliers. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN2.

(Story and Information Courtesy of Pitt Athletics)