Ball State senior QB and LHS Grad Drew Plitt is on the Golden Arm Watch list as

the Cardinals Kick-off the 2021 Football Season

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (September 2, 2021) – Drew Plitt helped lead the Loveland Tigers football team to the Ohio High School State Football Championship in 2013. In 2020, he led the Ball State University Cardinal football team to the Mid-America Conference (MAC) Championship and the Arizona Bowl Championship. Now Plitt has earned a spot on the 2021 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List.

Drew Plitt, Senior Quarterback Ball State University Cardinals (Provided)

Semifinalists, finalists and the Golden Arm Award recipient are selected by the distinguished Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Selection Committee. The committee is made up of a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers and former players. They choose candidates for the award based on player performance on, and off the field.

Drew Plitt is entering his sixth and final college football season with Ball State using the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His evolution as a top college quarterback in the nation has come following a red shirt season for the Cardinals in 2016. He saw action as a starter in three games during the Cardinals 2017 campaign due to injuries and played a backup role during the 2018 season with three more starts. Plitt broke through as the full-time starting QB during 2019 directing the MAC’s #1 offense.

In 2021, his second season at the helm, he directed the Cardinals to their first conference championship since 1966 and their first-ever bowl championship winning the Arizona Bowl. Plitt earned offensive player of the game recognition in both championship games. He has also been named to the prestigious Manning Award Watch List as he prepares to kick-off the 2021 season at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, September 2, against Western Illinois.

“I’ve been pretty busy,” said Plitt. “I’m getting ready for game #1, pretty excited. This is officially senior year, the last one in college.”

It has been eight years since he was high school sophomore and the Loveland Tiger quarterback on the way to a perfect season capped off with the Ohio High School State Football Championship in 2013.

“I was just a young buck back then,” Plitt recalled with a laugh. “When you talk about college, I’d say old seasoned veteran.”

Ball State University QB Drew Plitt is on the preseason Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List (Provided)

That “old seasoned veteran” has developed into a nationally top-ranked college quarterback posting the 18th best passing efficiency rating of 155.6 last season while ranking 23rd nationally with a .656 completion percentage. Plitt helped the offense put up an average of 447.2 yards-per-game good enough to rank 27th nationally and 25th in scoring with 34.2 points-per-game average.  His 273 passing yards in the MAC Championship moved him past head coach Mike Neu into fourth place all-time in Ball State University history for career passing yards. He currently holds that spot with 6,520. His 50 career touchdown passes place him third in school history before he throws his first passes to open the 2021 season. Accumulating those numbers and helping the team win championships drive him, not the personal awards, or watch lists.

“The pre-season awards are great, they’re cool, but they don’t have much meaning,” said Plitt. “At the end of the year, there is only one person that wins it. That’s the person who deserves it the most. That’s the one I want to win. I want to win the one at the end of the year, not the one at the beginning because it really matters more then.”

A lot of things happen between the start of the season and the end of the season. Plitt pointed out a lot of times guys are not on the watch list that end up being finalists. A lot on the list in preseason end up not being on the final list.

Drew Plitt led the Loveland High School Tigers to a championship in 2013. In 2020, he led the BSU Cardinals to a MAC championship (Provideed)

“My mindset is I want to win,” Plitt explained. “Being on the preseason watch list, I haven’t won anything. Any kind of preseason award for our team in general, I think its how we all feel.”

For the record, Ball State is the preseason pick to win the MAC again in 2021. Preseason is a long way from a championship when the season ends. A lot of work will be done and a lot can happen during the regular season.

“The season is long. There’s 12 games and a lot can happen,” said Plitt. “Really the only thing that matters is who picks up the trophy at the end of the year. Those awards come by team wins really. The team that wins the most typically has more award guys.”

Winning as a team, winning games and winning championships is clearly the focus of the veteran college quarterback who already has experienced championships at several levels in his football career including the MAC and Arizona Bowl Championships last season. Those experiences have taught Plitt lessons on how to win and how to bounce back when things are tough. His high school championship season was followed by two tough seasons.

“It’s been a big motivation for me going into this season making sure last year wasn’t a fluke,” he explained. “I want to make sure everybody realizes how good we can be. I think that’s the great thing about our team. With the experience we had, nobody’s really gotten complacent. We had our ring ceremony and the next day everybody put their rings away – nobody had it out.”

Plitt is climbing the list of top passers in history at BSU 4th in total yards passing and 3rd in TD passes entering this season. (Provided)

Drew Plitt does not sound like somebody who is complacent, nor is he going to let his teammates get complacent. You can hear the maturity and leadership in his voice. He has come a long way since he was a 175 pound young buck at LHS. Now, he takes those lessons learned onto the field for practice, for games and for his teammates to win together, not individually.

“I’m more vocal than I was six years ago, eight years ago, whatever,” Plitt said. “Being able to pass on that knowledge, but also for myself just taking my game preparation to another level, taking game readiness when it comes to recovery, the mental side of it, game planning, instead of being the same as last year, adds something to it that makes me better.”

Plitt points to his teammates, their depth and experience as the key to another potential championship season for the Ball State Cardinals. He says it is really as simple as just going out and playing his game and getting the ball to the playmakers on the team and letting the offensive line do the work and the team do their work. He named nearly every receiver and tight end on the team. He talked about the depth and ability of the offensive line. It is really about the team for Drew Plitt.

“You can’t really have a player of the year on a team that lost every game,” said Plitt. “Really doing my job and doing my part on this team, making sure I’m not trying to do too much, trying to be a hero. That’s what it’s going to take if I want to be on one of those the watch list. That’s my goal. It really just takes winning on the field. We talk about my personal goals, but if I don’t get that, I’m way happier if we win a championship!”

Plitt wants to lead his team to a championship in his final college football season. Though he already earned his MBA and graduated, he still has some football hopes beyond the end of this Cardinal football season.

“It’s  a lot of work to get there and I know it’s based a lot on how this season works out,” Plitt said. “I just gotta go out and play my game. If I do that, playing at the next level is a real option. My goal is to do that. It has always been a dream of mine. I’m chasing my dreams and living them out.”

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