DALLAS (FWAA) – Three finalists for the 2013 Outland Trophy were announced on Monday by the
Football Writers Association of America: Pittsburgh defensive tackle
Aaron Donald, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews and Baylor offensive guard
These finalists will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special on ESPNU on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m. ET. The winner of the 68th Outland Trophy will be revealed on ESPN during
The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 7-9 p.m. ET at the Atlantic Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Both Pittsburgh and Texas A&M have had previous players claim the Outland Trophy; Baylor has not. Last year's winner and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, was the Aggies' first Outland winner and now is on the roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pittsburgh's winner, Mark May (in 1980), is a current ESPN analyst, College Football Hall of Famer and former standout NFL lineman.
The three 2013 Outland Trophy finalists:
Donald, 6-0, 280-pound senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., leads the country in tackles for a loss per game (2.4) by a wide margin and he is tied for 10th nationally in sacks with 10. He also has four forced fumbles. A tackle with great agility, he's often double-teamed and even at times triple-teamed. His tackles for loss total is already ahead of that of former Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh, who won both the Outland and Nagurski trophies in 2009. In the Panthers' 11th game of the season, a 17-16 victory over Syracuse, he blocked an extra point for the victory, making the Panthers bowl-eligible.
Matthews, a 6-5, 305-pound senior from Missouri City, Texas, actually moved over to Joeckel's left tackle spot this season and has been the main protector for 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Matthews is a returning FWAA All-American from a year ago. With Matthews anchoring the line, Texas A&M's offense has been one of the most prolific in college football, averaging 552.6 total yards (fourth nationally) and 365.1 passing (sixth nationally). The Aggies (8-3) average 45.6 points per game (fifth nationally). He's the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and has two cousins currently in the NFL. His younger brother, Mike, is the current starting center for the Aggies.
Richardson, 6-5, 340-pound senior from Fort Worth, Texas, is described as a "dominating drive blocker" in some reviews. He's one of the major reasons Baylor has the nation's top scoring offense at 56.8 points per game and is No. 1 total offense at 661.6 yards per game. He has played tackle, but moved back to guard the past two seasons. Baylor's rushing game averages just under 280 yards per game (ninth nationally) and its passing offense is fourth in the country at 381.9 yards per game. The Bears (9-1) won their first
nine games of the season before falling to Oklahoma State.
The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA
since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-American
lineman at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. The
Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football
behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
For the 17th consecutive year, the presentation banquet of the
Outland Trophy will occur in Omaha. The official 2013 Outland Trophy
presentation to the winner will be at a banquet sponsored by the
Greater Omaha Sports Committee. At the same banquet, North Carolina
State center Jim Ritcher will receive an Outland Trophy, which is
sponsored by the Downtown Omaha Rotary Club. He was the 1979 winner
of the award before trophies were handed out by the FWAA.
This year the Outland Trophy Award Dinner will be held Thursday,
Jan. 9, 2014, at 7 p.m., at the DoubleTree Hotel, 16th & Dodge Streets.
Tickets are $75 and tables of ten sell for $750. Also appearing
at the dinner for the 16th straight year will be the winners of
Nebraska's football senior awards – the Novak Trophy, the Chamberlin
Trophy and the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football
Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious
awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection
excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover
college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters
and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that
involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday
operations, major awards and its annual All- America team. For more
information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at email@example.com or 972-713-6198.
The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3
non-profit organization, consisting of more than 300 men and women
from the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska. The membership
serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities
in the Greater Omaha sports area.
2013 Preseason Outland
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All-time Outland Trophy
Trophy official site (outlandtrophy.com)