Outland presentation dinner plans announced

outland-semi-finalist-reception-2OMAHA — For the 20th consecutive year, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Greater Omaha Sports Committee will combine to host the Outland Trophy Presentation Dinner.  It will occur on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Omaha.

The 71st winner of the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman on offense or defense) will be revealed on Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards. The show, on ESPN, is broadcast from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The 2016 Outland Trophy winner will then appear in Omaha and receive his trophy. This tradition dates to 1997 when Nebraska offensive lineman Aaron Taylor became the first Outland Trophy winner to be honored in Omaha.

The Outland Trophy Presentation Dinner will have an Oklahoma flavor to it this season, which coincides with the 45th Anniversary of the Nebraska-Oklahoma Game of the Century, won by Nebraska, 35-31, in 1971.

The Sooners’ Greg Roberts, the 1978 Outland Trophy winner, will receive his trophy because only plaques were given by the FWAA during the era in which he was the winner. The 1988 winner, Tracy Rocker of Auburn, was the first player to receive an Outland Trophy. The Downtown Rotary Club of Omaha for many years has graciously sponsored the project of supplying former Outland winners (from 1946-1987) with their trophies.

Additionally, former Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer will claim the third annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award. Switzer coached two Outland Trophy winners, Roberts and the late Lee Roy Selmon, the 1975 Outland Trophy winner. Both Osborne and Switzer were assistant coaches on the Nebraska and Oklahoma staffs, respectively, in 1971, when the Game of the Century was played, before later becoming long-running head coaches at those schools.

The Legacy Award, named after the legendary Osborne, goes to a person who predominately played, coached and/ or made extraordinary contributions to the interior line of college football and/or made contributions to the Outland Trophy. The winner must exhibit the characteristics of integrity, sportsmanship and fair play associated with Tom Osborne.

The winners of Nebraska’s three football senior awards also will be presented at the banquet .

The Tom Novak Trophy is awarded annually to the senior who “best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds.” The Guy Chamberlin Trophy goes to the senior “who by his play and off-field contributions has added to the betterment of the Nebraska football squad in the tradition of Guy Chamberlin.” And the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award,  is given annually to the senior who “best exemplifies good work ethic, competitiveness, leadership, pride and love of Nebraska.”

For more information on the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet contact Bob Mancuso Jr., Greater Omaha Sports Committee, 402-346-8003,   or at bmancuso07@msn.com.

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