DALLAS (FWAA) For their outstanding individual performances in leading two of the country's top offensive and defensive units, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and Pitt defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman have earned Outland Trophy National Player of the Month honors for September, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America and presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).
The Outland Trophy, presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, is awarded annually to the nation's best interior lineman. NFID's involvement with the trophy is intended to increase awareness about flu prevention. This is the second season for the FWAA to select national players of the month.
Sewell, a 6-6, 325-pound sophomore from St. George, Utah, has emerged as the standout in the season's first month among a Ducks offensive front that already features four Outland Trophy Watch List members. Based on grading by Pro Football Focus, Sewell is the top-ranked offensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference overall and the No. 2-graded tackle in the nation, with a 91.7 run-blocking grade that is second nationally on their charts.
His statistics or the lack of them when playing against him · stand out. In his last three games, Sewell hasn't allowed a hurry, pressure or hit on the quarterback over 184 snaps played and has 21 knockdown blocks on the season. He had 11 knockdowns against Montana on Sept 14. Discipline also marks Sewell's play as he hasn't committed a penalty and has allowed only one sack this season.
As this week's winners are sophomores, it's worth noting that the last two Outland Trophy winners Ed Oliver of Houston and Quinnen Williams of Alabama · were sophomore defensive tackles. Twelve of the last 13 winners have played the offensive or defensive tackle position.
Twyman, a 6-2, 290-pound sophomore from Washington, D.C., has a team-high 6.0 sacks through five games, which puts him sixth nationally with an ACC-high 1.20 sacks per game to go with 6.5 total tackles for loss. Following a redshirt freshman season in 2018 in which he made one start and had 16 tackles, his play in this season's first month has spurred the Panthers' defense to become one of the nation's best at getting to the quarterback. Pitt leads the ACC and is second in the nation with 24 sacks to date (4.8 per game) and is eighth nationally and leads the ACC in TFL's per game at 8.8. Pitt has posted six sacks in each of its three wins this season, against Ohio, UCF and Delaware.
In the Panthers' 20-10 win over Ohio on Sept. 7, Twyman had a career-best three sacks, Pitt's highest total since 2015 and the most for a defensive tackle since Aaron Donald, the 2013 Outland Trophy winner and reigning two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year who also had three vs. Utah on Oct. 15, 2011. Twyman changed his uniform number to 97 before this season to honor Donald. He had a career-high six tackles and 1.5 sacks at Penn State on Sept. 14.
The recipient of the 74th Outland Trophy will be announced during ESPN's The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12, live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Outland Trophy Award Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises on Jan. 15, 2020 in Omaha, Neb. Up to seven semifinalists will be named on Nov. 20 and three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 26.
Former Pitt offensive tackle Mark May, the 1980 Outland Trophy winner, is serving as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador on behalf of NFID. May is making media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind everyone 6 months and older to get an annual flu vaccine.
The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.
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.
About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. Visit nfid.org for more information.
About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.