Kentucky's Flax is Outland Trophy National Player of the Week

DALLAS (FWAA)Jeremy Flax and the Kentucky Wildcats ran over one of the nation’s top defenses Saturday, rolling up 329 rushing yards in a 33-14 win over Florida. Flax, who graded at 87 percent and led the Wildcats’ “Big Blue Wall” to bulldoze its way to a 23-0 first-half lead with its ground game, has earned the Outland Trophy National Player of the Week honor for games during the weekend of Sept. 30, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

For the first time, the FWAA is selecting an Outland Trophy National Player of the Week as part of the NCFAA's weekly national honors from 12 awards. The recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Dec. 7 or 8. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 11, 2024.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the season. The weekly winners, including Flax this week, will be part of the Outland Trophy watch list going forward.

Flax, a 6-6, 325-pound senior from Detroit, Mich., had five knockdown blocks as the Wildcats (5-0) used Ray Davis’ 280 rushing yards to get out to the fast start. Florida had entered the game 14th in the nation in run defense having allowed only 82 yards per game. Davis had topped that by the end of the first quarter, and the line helped Kentucky create six rushes of at least 15 yards. Davis’ 280 yards are the third-most in a single-game in program history – he subbed out of the game midway through the fourth quarter just 19 yards short of the school record. The performance, with Flax out in front, earned Davis the Doak Walker National Running Back of the Week honor and national player of the week honors from The Maxwell Football Club and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Flax didn’t allow a sack or a quarterback pressure, didn’t commit a penalty and didn’t miss an assignment in the win.

Kentucky’s history with the Outland Trophy goes back almost to the award’s founding. Bob Gain, an offensive tackle, won the Outland in 1950 in only the fifth season of the postseason honor. Gain is the Wildcats’ only winner. Offensive tackle Darian Kinnard was a semifinalist and FWAA First Team All-American in the 2021 season.

No. 20 Kentucky (5-0, 2-0 SEC) has its toughest test awaiting Saturday when it travels to top-ranked Georgia (5-0, 2-0 SEC) for a 7 p.m. ET matchup between the hedges on ESPN.

The Outland Trophy, celebrating 78 years since its founding, 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. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.

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The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of more than 1,300 men and women from the City of Omaha, the State of Nebraska, and others. The Committee serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities in the Greater Omaha sports area. In addition to the Outland Trophy Award Events and Dinner, the Greater Omaha Sports Committee promotes high school, college, and professional sports in the Greater Omaha area and the Midwest.  For more information contact Bob Mancuso Jr., Chairman at or see

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 at