Football Writers Association of America Nov. 16, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
214-870-6516
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Six standout interior linemen tabbed by FWAA
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2017 OUTLAND TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS UNVEILED

OMAHA (FWAA) Six semifinalists for the 2017 Outland Trophy five offensive linemen and one defensive tackle were announced on Thursday night during a reception hosted by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee.

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), in a call of its 2017 All-America Committee, has determined the following six players as semifinalists for the award, in alphabetical order: Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson, Western Michigan offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Ohio State center Billy Price.

The field for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football on offense or defense, will be reduced to three in the next week. Those finalists will be announced at 6:30 p.m. ET on Tues., Nov. 21, on The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special on ESPNU. The winner of the 72nd Outland Trophy will be revealed on Thurs., Dec. 7, on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Here is a closer look at each of the semifinalists:

Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma (6-8, 345, Jr., Duluth, Ga.): The Sooners' team captain is a mainstay on the line, which triggers an explosive attack that leads the FBS in total offense (600.7 yards per game). The Sooners (9-1) are tops in the country in passing offense (388.8 yards) and No. 4 in the country in scoring (44.3 points per game). Brown was a second-team FWAA All-American last season and has started in all 36 games at left tackle since the beginning of the 2015 season.

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (6-8, 315, Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.): Already with a degree at Notre Dame, McGlinchey is a stalwart on a Notre Dame line that produces 303.2 yards per game rushing (sixth-best in the country). The Fighting Irish (8-2) have scored 34 rushing touchdowns, third in the FBS. He has been the starting left tackle all 10 games this season for a Notre Dame team that has produced 12 100-yard individual rushing performances.

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame (6-5, 330, Sr., Holmdel, N.J.): Captain of the Fighting Irish, the starting left guard has been one of the top linemen for an offense that has rushed for 300 or more yards in seven of 10 games this season. His performance at guard has been ranked tops in the country by Pro Football Focus. Notre Dame averages 6.72 yards a rush, second-best in the FBS.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (6-3, 290, So., Houston, Texas): Oliver was a second-team FWAA All-American last year as a freshman and was named to the FWAA's 2016 Freshman All-America Team. Despite drawing constant double- and triple-teams, he has an unusually high number of tackles for an interior lineman with 53 in just nine games. He has 10 tackles for 39 yards in losses (2.5 sacks for 13 yards in losses), three passes broken up, seven quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery, two forced fumbles and one blocked kick for the Cougars (6-3). Oliver is also a finalist for the FWAA's Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the national defensive player of the year.

Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan (6-6, 330, Sr., Southfield, Mich.): A three-year starter for the Broncos (6-4) who has been ranked as the No. 4 offensive tackle by Mel Kiper Jr. going into the 2018 NFL Draft. He played right tackle his first two seasons then moved to left tackle at the beginning of the 2016 season and has been a fixture there since. He has started every game the last three seasons for a productive offense.

Billy Price, C, Ohio State (6-4, 312, Sr., Austintown, Ohio): Already in graduate school, Price has made a school-record 51 consecutive starts along the line for an offense that leads the country in first downs (281), is fifth in scoring offense (44.2 points per game) and third in total offense (546.5 yards per game). He has started every game (10) at center this season for the Buckeyes (8-2). He was a Distinguished Scholar during last spring semester with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-America 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 21st consecutive year, the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet will occur in Omaha and will be sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. At the same banquet, the fourth annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Omaha-Downtown, will be presented to Florida State coaching legend Bobby Bowden.

The Outland Trophy Award Dinner will be held on Wed., Jan. 10, in Omaha at the DoubleTree Hotel Downtown. Also appearing at the dinner for the 20th straight year will be the winners of Nebraska's football senior awards the Tom Novak Trophy, the Guy Chamberlin Trophy and the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. 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 1,300 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 game day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com or call 214-870-6516.

The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of more than 900 men and women from the City of Omaha, the State of Nebraska, and others. The membership serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities in the Greater Omaha sports area. In addition to the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet, the Greater Omaha Sports Committee promotes high school, college, and professional sports in the Greater Omaha area and the Midwest.

Related link:
All-time Outland Trophy winners, finalists