DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America has announced the preseason watch list for the 2021 Outland Trophy, recognizing 80 returning standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. The 2021 season continues a celebration of the award’s 75th anniversary and the watch list presents a talented field of players to accompany three returning FWAA All-Americans.
The recipient of the 2021 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. 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. 12, 2022.
Kenyon Green, a 2020 Outland semifinalist as a first-team FWAA All-American offensive guard at Texas A&M last year, tops the list as the only first-team interior lineman to return. The Aggies, who also have defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson on the list, are one of 18 teams to have at least two players on the watch list. One other returning All-American, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum highlights the top returning interior linemen. Linderbaum was a second-team selection a year ago.
Five schools boast three selections each, including two of last year’s College Football Playoff qualifiers in Clemson and Ohio State. Two of Clemson’s are defensive tackles, Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis, along with offensive tackle Jordan McFadden, are touted. Ohio State’s offensive line is bolstered by tackles Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere and its defense features tackle Haskell Garrett.
Boston College, which pairs with Clemson to give the Atlantic Coast Conference six of its national-best 14 players, has center Alec Lindstrom in between guard Zion Johnson and offensive tackle Tyler Vrabel. Oklahoma’s high-powered offense has guards Tyrese Robinson and Marquis Hayes and a third member, Perrion Winfrey at defensive tackle. Georgia is the only SEC school with a trio of players – guards Jamaree Salyer and Justin Shaffer, and defensive tackle Jordan Davis.
After the ACC, the Big Ten boasts 13 selections spread among nine different schools and the SEC has 11 total from seven schools. Defending national champion Alabama is represented by a tackle on each side of the ball, Evan Neal on offense and Phidarian Mathis on defense. Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood won the 2020 Outland Trophy before departing to the NFL as the 17th overall selection in the draft by the Las Vegas Raiders.
Two members of last season’s FWAA Freshman All-America team, Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski and Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith, are also on the watch list, which includes 26 offensive tackles, 26 guards, 16 centers and 13 defensive tackles.
2021 OUTLAND TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (80)
|G Henry Bainivalu, Washington||C Alec Lindstrom, Boston College|
|OT Matthew Bedford, Indiana||DT Jermayne Lole, Arizona State|
|G Curtis Blackwell, Ball State||OT Vederian Lowe, Illinois|
|C Nick Brahms, Auburn||OT Abe Lucas, Washington State|
|DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson||G Cain Madden, Notre Dame|
|DT C.J. Brewer, Coastal Carolina||DT Phidarian Mathis, Alabama|
|OT Nick Broeker, Ole Miss||OT Jordan McFadden, Clemson|
|G Logan Bruss, Wisconsin||C Mike Miranda, Penn State|
|OT Spencer Burford, UTSA||OT Thayer Munford, Ohio State|
|C Mike Caliendo, Western Michigan||OT Evan Neal, Alabama|
|G Trey Carter, Coastal Carolina||OT Zion Nelson, Miami|
|DT Will Choloh, Troy||C Colin Newell, Iowa State|
|DT Nolan Cockrill, Army||G Conner Olson, Minnesota|
|C Keegan Cryder, Wyoming||G Dylan Parham, Memphis|
|DT Jordan Davis, Georgia||G Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame|
|DT Tyler Davis, Clemson||OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State|
|C Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech||OT Colby Ragland, UAB|
|G Corey Dublin, Tulane||G Tyrese Robinson, Oklahoma|
|G Ikem Ekwonu, N.C. State||OT Walter Rouse, Stanford|
|C Nathan Eldridge, Oregon State||G Jamaree Salyer, Georgia|
|C James Empey, BYU||G Cole Schneider, UCF|
|G Joshua Ezeudu, North Carolina||G Derek Schweiger, Iowa State|
|C Alex Forsyth, Oregon||G Justin Shaffer, Georgia|
|OT Jake Fuzak, Buffalo||G Josh Sills, Oklahoma State|
|DT Haskell Garrett, Ohio State||OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern|
|C Grant Gibson, N.C. State||OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa|
|G Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State||OT Jack Snyder, San Jose State|
|OT Kenyon Green, Texas A&M||G Jake Stetz, Boise State|
|C Bryce Harris, Toledo||DT Dante Stills, West Virginia|
|G Marquis Hayes, Oklahoma||OT Jaylon Thomas, SMU|
|C Brock Hoffman, Virginia Tech||OT Zachary Thomas, San Diego State|
|OT Jarrett Horst, Michigan State||OT Zach Tom, Wake Forest|
|C Baer Hunter, App State||G O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana|
|G Ed Ingram, LSU||DT Raymond Vohasek, North Carolina|
|DT McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M||OT Tyler Vrabel, Boston College|
|G Zion Johnson, Boston College||OT Rasheed Walker, Penn State|
|OT Darian Kinnard, Kentucky||OT Sidney Wells, UAB|
|OT Jaxson Kirkland, Washington||C Dohnovan West, Arizona State|
|C Doug Kramer, Illinois||OT Jarrid Williams, Miami|
|C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa||DT Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma|
By conference: ACC 14, Big Ten 13, SEC 11, Big 12 8, Pac-12 8, Sun Belt 6, American Athletic 5, Independents 4, Mid-American 4, Mountain West 4, Conference USA 3.
By position: Offensive Tackles 27, Offensive Guards 25, Centers 16, Defensive Tackles 13.
Tackles, guards and centers are eligible for consideration; Candidates may be added or removed during the season
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, celebrating 75 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 (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. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards are presenting 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 2021 preseason watch list calendar:
Wed., July 28: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thu., July 29: Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., July 30: Maxwell Award
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.