Football Writers Association of America Nov. 27, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Tennessee standout seeks rare repeat

DALLAS (FWAA) – Nebraska's Toniu Fonoti, 2000 Outland Trophy winner John Henderson of Tennessee and Miami's Bryant McKinnie were named finalists for the 2001 Outland Trophy on Tuesday.

The winner of the Outland Trophy, which honors the best interior lineman in college football, will be announced on Dec. 6 on the ESPN College Football Awards Show from Orlando, Fla. The winner of the Outland Trophy is chosen by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America committee. The presentation banquet will be Jan. 10 in Omaha, Neb., and will be sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee and First Data Corp.


Fonoti, a 6-foot-4, 340-pound offensive left guard, already has set Nebraska's single-season record with 182 pancakes (16.5 ppg) in 11 games entering last Friday's showdown versus Colorado. Fonoti, a junior, helped Nebraska average a nation's leading 311.1 rushing yards per game and set the Cornhuskers' single-game pancake record with 32 against Texas Tech on Oct. 20. With a big bowl game, Fonoti could break the career record of 377 pancakes set by 1997 Outland Trophy winner Aaron Taylor.

Henderson, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound senior defensive tackle, will seek to become only the second player in the 56-year history of the award to repeat as the Outland Trophy winner. Nebraska center Dave Rimington repeated as the Outland Trophy winner in 1982 after winning it in 1981.

Henderson is one of the stalwarts for Tennessee's Top 10-ranked defense against the rush. He registered the 20th sack of his career this season against Kentucky. He had to sit out the Arkansas game early in the season with a high ankle sprain, but returned to post nine tackles against Alabama and eight against Georgia. He has recovered two fumbles this season.

McKinnie, a 6-foot-9, 336-pound senior offensive right tackle, dominated Syracuse's All-America defensive end Dwight Freeney in Miami's 59-0 victory over Syracuse. McKinnie held Freeney without a sack in 52 plays McKinnie's performance set the pace for an offense that rushed for a season-best 331 yards and accumulated 566 yards against the Orangemen. McKinnie has never allowed a sack in his college career and keys an offense that averages 5.5 yards per rushing attempt.

Related Links:
Outland Trophy
FWAA awards calendar