DALLAS (FWAA) The Football Writers Association of America has announced the preseason watch list for the 2020 Outland Trophy, recognizing 85 standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. This is the 75th anniversary season for the Outland Trophy and the watch list presents a diverse field of players to accompany the return of 2019 Outland Trophy winner, offensive tackle Penei Sewell of Oregon.
Sewell, a junior, is the only returning lineman among the 2019 Outland Trophy semifinalists and 2019 FWAA All-Americans. He became Oregon's first Outland Trophy winner last season and was the third consecutive sophomore to receive this prestigious award. The 6-6, 325-pound junior from Malaeimi, American Samoa and then Desert Hills High School in St. George, Utah, emerged as a dominant left tackle for the 2020 Rose Bowl champions and did not allow a sack last season. He had eight games without allowing a pressure, hit or hurry on the quarterback, and in 466 pass-blocking snaps allowed only seven quarterback pressures.
The Alabama Crimson Tide top the watch list with four selections guards Deonte Brown and Landon Dickerson, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and defensive tackle LaBryan Ray · with Notre Dame and Ohio State posting three players each. Notre Dame's three representatives are all on offense · center Jarrett Patterson, guard Aaron Banks and 2019 watch list member Liam Eichenberg. The SEC leads the conference totals with 14 · defending national champion LSU has defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin, Tennessee offers a guard pair with Cade Mays and Trey Smith, and Kentucky has center Drake Jackson and offensive tackle Darian Kinnard. The Big Ten has 12 players, buoyed by a trio of Ohio State offensive linemen · center Josh Myers, guard Wyatt Davis and tackle Thayer Munford · to go with teammates from Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.
Pitt is one of 17 schools to have a pair of players on the list, as defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman led the nations interior linemen last season with 10.5 sacks and center Jimmy Morrissey is among 13 players who return from the 2019 watch list. Clemson, the national runner-up, offers a pair of tackles in Jackson Carmen on offense and Tyler Davis on defense, part of the ACC·s nine entries that also includes Boston College guard Zion Johnson and offensive tackle Ben Petrula, linemen who led the nation·s eighth-best rushing attack last year.
The Pac-12 is third among the conference totals with 11 as defensive tackle Jordon Scott joins Sewell from Oregon, Stanford has center Drew Dalman and offensive Walker Little, and USC has defensive tackle Jay Tufele and offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey and offensive tackle Adrian Ealy guided one of last season's College Football Playoff teams and top-five total offense units up front.
West Virginia is the only team to have multiple defensive players on the list with the brother defensive tackle tandem of Dante and Darius Stills, part of the Big 12s six entries. BYU, Western Michigan, Air Force and Appalachian State also have double representation on the list.
The recipient of the 75th Outland Trophy will be announced in early December. The official presentation to the winner will be made in Omaha, Neb., at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, scheduled for Jan. 13, 2021.
Watch list candidates may be added or removed during the season. The distribution of watch list candidates is spread well among the conferences behind the 14 from the SEC and 12 from the Big Ten are the Pac-12 with 11 and the Atlantic Coast (9), followed by the Mountain West (7), Big 12 (6), the Independents (6), and the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt with five each. The list includes 32 offensive tackles, 21 offensive guards, 17 defensive tackles and 15 centers.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
The Outland Trophy, now in its 75th year, 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 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Fourteen of the association's 25 awards will present their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2020 preseason watch list calendar:
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 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
List | Semifinalists |
All-time Outland Trophy winners,
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