Texas defensive tackle T'Vondre Sweat wins 78th Outland Trophy

T’Vodre Sweat is the fourth Texas player to win the Outland Trophy, but the first since 1977.
T’Vodre Sweat is the fourth Texas player to win the Outland Trophy, but the first since 1977.

DALLAS (FWAA) – Texas defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat was named the recipient of the 78th Outland Trophy on Friday night during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. The Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s best college interior lineman on offense or defense. Sweat is the school's fourth Outland Trophy winner.

Sweat, a 6-4, 362-pound senior from Huntsville, Texas, was selected by the All-America Committee of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) from three finalists that also included offensive tackle Joe Alt of Notre Dame and guard Cooper Beebe of Kansas State. Sweat is the second defensive tackle of the past three seasons to win the Outland Trophy (Georgia’s Jordan Davis in 2021) and the fourth from the defensive side of the last seven seasons. He is the first winner from a Big 12 school since 2004 (Oklahoma offensive tackle Jammal Brown).

The official presentation to Sweat 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. 10, 2024. Prior to that, Texas (12-1) faces Washington (13-0) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal in New Orleans.

Sweat is the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as the linchpin of one of the most formidable defensive fronts in the nation. He was one of three unanimous selections and the all-conference honors are the first of his career following a breakout season in which he established career highs with 42 tackles (sixth on the team), 17 solo tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and four pass breakups. In addition Sweat also blocked a kick that was returned for a defensive two-point conversion against Iowa State.

Sweat also caught a two-yard touchdown pass in the Big 12 Championship Game last week against Oklahoma State, the first reception of his career.

Texas’ defensive front that includes Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year Byron Murphy II has led the Longhorns to near the top of multiple national defensive statistical categories:

  • held opponents to 80.9 rushing yards per game (4th in the FBS)
  • held opponents to 26.5 percent on third-down conversions (2nd in FBS)
  • tie for fourth in red zone defense (71.4 percent, tied for 4th in FBS)
  • gave up 17.2 points per game thus far in 13 games (12th in FBS)
  • gave up 210 first downs thus far in 13 games (27th in FBS)

Sweat is the latest winner among Texas’ fine tradition with the Outland Trophy and its first in 46 seasons. Defensive tackle Brad Shearer was the last winner prior to Sweat in 1977 with linebacker Tommy Nobis (1965) and defensive tackle Scott Appleton (1963) also earning previous awards. Like Sweat, each one of Texas’ previous Outland Trophy winners, finalists or semifinalists were native Texans. 

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. 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. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned NCFAA.org or follow on X at @NCFAA.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.