Garnett, a 6-5, 321-pound senior from Puyallup, Wash., claimed the 70th annual Outland as the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman over two other finalists — Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango and Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson — at the 25th annual show, which was held for the first time at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Garnett, a human biology major, is the first offensive guard to win the Outland Trophy since Nebraska’s Aaron Taylor in 1997.
Garnett has been a dominant run blocker for the Pac-12 champions, who have scored 30 or more points in each of its past 12 games. He has started 28 straight games for Stanford, which has rushed for at least 100 yards in 47 of its last 50 games. Garnett, a team captain, is a great finisher of blocks and through 13 games has 104 pancakes. He has helped Stanford win the time of possession battle in 17 of the last 19 games with his consistent offensive line play.
Overall, Stanford (11-2) leads the nation in time of possession this season. Stanford ranks 19th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing offense and 18th in scoring heading into a Rose Bowl battle with Iowa.
Garnett, Stanford’s Player of the Game in a 55-17 victory over Arizona, is one of the highest-rated guards for the NFL Draft next spring. He is only Stanford’s second Outland Trophy finalist after offensive guard David DeCastro (2011), a NFL first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And he is the first West Coast player to win the Outland Trophy since Washington State defensive tackle Rien Long in 2002.
Garnett grew up a Washington Husky fan. “My dad Scott was a big-time defensive line guy for them,” Garnett said. “He later played in the NFL, but then Stanford offered.” And the rest is history. He has been a standout on the line since his freshman season on The Farm.
This season, Garnett’s blocks have often sprung Heisman Trophy candidate and all-purpose star sophomore Christian McCaffrey for long runs. On his twitter account (@IamJoshG), Garnett is pushing McCaffrey for the Heisman Trophy.
“It is easy to block for a guy so explosive and quick,” Garnett said of his protégé, who is also in Atlanta this week and on his way to New York for the Heisman announcement on Saturday night.
Notre Dame’s Ross Browner, the 1976 Outland Trophy winner, made the presentation to Garnett at the College Football Hall of Fame, where Browner is already a member, inducted into the Hall in 1999.
The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the Football Writers Association of America since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. It is the third oldest player award in major-college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
For the 19th consecutive year, the presentation of the Outland Trophy will occur in Omaha, on Jan. 14, 2016, at a banquet sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee.
At the same banquet, Maryland defensive lineman Randy White will receive an Outland Trophy. White, the 1974 winner of the award before trophies were handed out by the FWAA, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a former star for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
Celebrating its 75th season, the Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization, consists of more than 1,400 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 gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-870-6516.
The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of more than 300 men and women from the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska. The membership serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities in the Greater Omaha sports area.