Members: Nominate your daughter or son for the Volney Meece Scholarship Reply

The FWAA is now accepting applications for the 22nd annual Volney Meece Scholarship.

For an application please contact Dave Sittler, 8314 S. Jamestown Ave, Tulsa, OK 74137. His email is davesitt@aol.com and his cell phone is 918-629-3851 (text).

Applications must be received by Dec. 15, 2018.

The scholarship is awarded annually by the FWAA and named for the late Volney Meece, who served 22 years as the FWAA’s Executive Director and was the organization’s President in 1971.

The $1,000 annual grant for four years is awarded to a deserving son or daughter of an FWAA member. Since the program started in 1997, the FWAA has distributed $83,000 in scholarship money to deserving children of FWAA members.

The winner will be announced at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast at the media hotel in conjunction with the College Football Playoff  National Championship Game on Jan. 7, 2019, in San Jose.

Past winners of the Volney Meece Scholarship
1997  Brett Goering  Topeka, Kan.
1998  Kelly Brooks  Denver, Colo.
1999  James Butz  Schaumberg, Ill.
2000  Sara Barnhart  Atlanta, Ga.
2001  Patrick Davis  Coventry, Conn.
2002  Jacqueline O’Toole  Gaithersburg, Md.
2003  Garrett Holtz  Denver, Colo.
2004  Katie Hersom  Oklahoma City, Okla.
2005  Katie Wieberg  Lawson, Mo.
2006  Kaylynn Monroe  Winter Park, Fla.
2007  Nate Kerkhoff  Overland Park, Kan.
2008  Jack Caywood  Lawrence, Kan.
2009  Haley Dodd  Overland Park, Kan.
2010  Donald Hunt  Philadelphia, Pa.
2011  Alaina Martens  Papillion, Neb.
2012  Emily Alford  Tupelo, Miss.
2013  Sarah Helsley  Edmond, Okla.
2014 Robert Abramson Palos Verde, Calif.
2015 Danielle Hoover Tulsa, Okla.
2016 Dolen Helwagen Pataskala, Ohio
2017 Elizabeth Schroeder Norman, Okla.
Advertisements

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 2 Reply

Our second installment of In The Trenches takes a look at key Outland Trophy matchups in college football this weekend. The spotlight is on Mississippi State at Kansas State and Wyoming at Missouri, a pair of under-the-radar games that pit Outland Trophy candidates against each other.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches180908.pdf

Please follow our Outland Trophy endeavors on Twitter:
@TheFWAA
@OutlandTrophy

We have partnered with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and their #FightFlu campaign this season, so we ask that you join spokesman Joe Thomas, a 2006 FWAA All-American and the Outland Trophy winner, in supporting the cause.

Steve Richardson
Executive Director

 

In The Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 1

Our first installment of In The Trenches debuts with a look at key Outland Trophy matchups in college football each week. We start with Michigan at Notre Dame and Washington vs. Auburn in Atlanta. Both games feature four players on the preseason watch list and should be a great way to start the season for award watchers.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches180831.pdf

While you’re at it, we ask that you follow all of the FWAA’s endeavors online:
@TheFWAA
@OutlandTrophy

We have partnered with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and their #FightFlu campaign this season, so we ask that you join spokesman Joe Thomas, a 2006 FWAA All-American and the Outland Trophy winner, in supporting the cause.

Steve Richardson
Executive Director

Houston’s Ed Oliver will try to double-down on the 2018 Outland Trophy

By Gene Duffey

Special to the FWAA  

The University of Houston’s Ed Oliver grew up wanting to be first. So far, so good. He wasn’t the first born in his family, having to settle for being the third of four boys, but he couldn’t help that.

He wanted to be the first one remembered among the string of outstanding defensive linemen to come out of Westfield High School in Houston. Check. He wanted to be the first five-star recruit to play at the University of Houston. Check. He wanted to become the first sophomore to win the Outland Trophy. Check.

“I was the first to do a lot of things,” he said. “I was the first recruit this high to come to Houston. I take pride in being the first sophomore to win the Outland. That’s an amazing accomplishment. I could have done it as a freshman. See, I’m kind of hard on myself.”

Ed Oliver’s value system is different from most. Good is never good enough. The best can still be better.

That is why he wants to be the best interior lineman in college football once again this fall. If he claims the 2018 Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Oliver will be only the second player to receive the award twice. Nebraska center Dave Rimington achieved the first double Outland Trophy haul in 1981 and 1982.

“I do things differently,” he said. “I have a different mindset. Sometimes I get down on myself. I just want to work out and get better. The more people tell me I’m good, the more I come down on myself. Nobody could be harder on myself than me.

Ed Oliver of the University of Houston is interviewed by ESPN’s Chris Fowler after receiving the 2017 Outland Trophy at the College Football Awards Show. Photo by Andy Crawford.

“Even though I might sugar coat it in front of people, it’s always in the back of my head what I did wrong. I could have done better on this play. When I watch film, I (look for) what I could have done better, not how good I am.”

Oliver began receiving extra attention from opposing offensive lines when he started on the varsity as a sophomore in high school. Double teams became a way of life.

He continued to prove himself worthy of the extra attention right away as a freshman in college. Oliver started the opening game of the 2016 season against No. 3 Oklahoma, made seven tackles, including two sacks, and helped the Cougars spring a 33-23 upset.

“The biggest thing that surprised me was how fast it happened,” said A.J. Blum, Houston’s defensive line coach who also coached Oliver in high school. “I knew he was capable.”

There was no need to redshirt Oliver. He began dominating from day one. The double teams returned early in the season. They didn’t bother Oliver, or stop him.

“If you keep your pad level low, you can beat them,” he said. “What makes it even sweeter is when you make a tackle out of a double team. It’s so much better. If you put one guy on me, that’s not fair. I’m ready to make a play look too easy.”

Blum, the defensive line coach at Houston, previously worked as Westfield’s defensive coordinator. “(Being double teamed) was inevitable for Ed,” Blum said of Oliver’s days in high school. “It’s just part of playing inside.”

Westfield played a 4-3 defense and the offense focused on Oliver no matter where he lined up. By his senior year he was ranked the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 2 player in the state of Texas.

The double teams followed him to college. “The bodies just get bigger,” he said.

He declared after his sophomore season at Houston, after winning the Outland Trophy, that he would be leaving college following his junior year to play in the NFL. The Cougars were grateful that the NFL doesn’t allow any “one and dones.”

“They’ll probably one-on-one block me in the NFL, because they’re professionals, mano-on-mano,” Oliver said with a smile. The prospect excited him.

Oliver’s exploits in high school received national attention. But he didn’t get carried away with all the attention in recruiting. He took only two official visits, to Houston and Oklahoma.

Naturally, Texas A&M and Texas wanted him. Baylor, too. So did Alabama and Notre Dame. And LSU and Mississippi.

“If I had gone (to visit) some place like LSU or Ole Miss, I would have been more tempted to go there,” said Oliver. “Once I made my decision, I wanted to be true to myself, so I decided to stay home.”

“Ed’s a different guy,” said Blum. “He didn’t want to do the whole (recruiting) process. He always had a cellphone, but it was broken.”

Oklahoma was the first college to offer Oliver a scholarship. Jerry Montgomery, the Sooners’ defensive line coach who went on to join the Green Bay Packers staff, saw Oliver in the spring of Oliver’s freshman year, before he had played a game of varsity football.

“It was something you couldn’t hide,” Blum said of Oliver’s talent. “He’s like a skilled player in a defensive lineman’s body.”

Oliver knew little of the Oklahoma tradition. Or Houston’s. He didn’t pay attention to college football. He liked to play football, not watch it on television.

Blum first spotted Oliver as a seventh grader, running around the gym, hanging on the basketball rim. Oliver played a little basketball and baseball outside of school, but football was always his game.

His father, Ed Sr., who went on to be a construction worker, had played running back at Northwestern State, a I-AA (now FCS) school in Natchitoches, La. His older brother Marcus also played football and Ed just followed along.

“I started because of my brother and I grew to love it,” he said. “Everybody wants to be like your brother. Marcus and me are almost like twins. I ended up playing with his friends, who were two years older than me. That may be why I’m so good now, playing against guys older than me. I was a big kid.”

Houston held a relative edge in recruiting Ed Oliver. Marcus was already at UH. Marcus played in every game on the offensive line as a true freshman and started seven games at offensive tackle as a sophomore. “You can be a big guy here,” Marcus told Ed.

Marcus was not the same caliber player as his younger brother coming out of Westfield. When Houston offered him a scholarship, it was a big deal. Two years later it made Ed’s decision easy.

“Probably the biggest factor was Marcus being here,” Oliver said of choosing Houston. “I trusted my brother. I figured I’d get my two years in here (while Marcus was still on the team), and if I don’t like it, leave. But I like it here.”

Ed and Marcus roomed together for one year in college. But Ed didn’t like the idea of going one-on-one against his older brother in practice. They had faced each other only once in practice in high school.

Marcus moved to guard for his junior year at Houston, which could have lined him up against Ed in practice.

“Marcus is pretty good,” said Ed. “I only beat him a couple of times. He beat me a handful of times. That’s a lot to say right there. He’s got really fast feet. I went to finesse him. He’s (our) most athletic guard.”

Tom Herman, the offensive coordinator of Ohio State’s 2014 national champions, parlayed that into becoming coach at Houston for the 2015 season. He led the Cougars to a 13-1 record in his first season, even without Ed Oliver, climaxed by beating Florida State 38-24 in the Peach Bowl.

Herman continued his success in the offseason by signing Oliver. Houston had built its football reputation by recruiting players that Texas, A&M and other Big 12 schools didn’t want. Texas tried to recruit quarterback Andre Ware, who won the 1989 Heisman Trophy at Houston, as a defensive back. Getting Ed Oliver was a big deal.

“When I got here coach Herman told me, ‘We’re going to put you and your brother together,’ ” Ed Oliver said of the practice schedule. “I said I would not do that. That’s my brother. I don’t want to go against my brother for your pleasure or the coaches’ pleasure. I felt like that was messed up. We did end up going against each other some. And I won. I don’t feel as strongly about it now, but it really upset me then.”

After a 9-4 record in Oliver’s freshman year, Herman bolted for Texas. Oliver felt a little betrayed. But the offer was too good for Herman to turn down.

“It did bother me, but my Dad talked to me,” said Oliver. “If a guy is making $30 on a job and someone offers him another job for $60, you would be a fool to stay. I understood what he said 100 percent. You can’t fault anyone for trying to better themselves. If I could stay at UH four years and leave after three, people will be mad at me, but they shouldn’t be.”

Houston didn’t hire A.J. Blum in an attempt to sign Ed Oliver. Blum joined Major Applewhite, Herman’s successor, a year after Ed Oliver arrived. The two had built chemistry during their days at Westfield.

“He’s shown me the ropes,” Oliver credited Blum. “Shown me what to do. I wouldn’t say he’s like a brother, or like a father, but like an uncle.”

Playing for Blum as a sophomore, Oliver only got better.

He made 69 tackles in 2017, including 14 ½ sacks, earning defensive player of the year honors in the American Athletic Conference, chosen by the league coaches. Winning the Outland was next in line.

Oklahoma junior offensive tackle Orlando Brown and Notre Dame senior guard Quenton Nelson were other finalists for the award.

“That was surprising, to be honest,” admitted Blum, not expecting a sophomore to win the Outland. “Those were his goals, to be nationally recognized. We have always talked (about him winning the Outland.) That’s the big dog for defensive linemen.”

At 6-2 and 290 pounds, he is not exceptionally large by today’s defensive line standards. What separates him?

“It’s his quickness and ability to react,” said Blum. “He’s like a wrecking ball out there that turns into a pinball. He can bounce off people and keep his feet.”

Oliver knew he might be special when people mistook him for a senior his freshman year of high school. Wearing a beard his sophomore year in college and with a baritone voice, he could easily pass for 25.

His easy going personality belies the intensity he displays on the field. “He’s a goofball,” said Blum, who gives no special treatment to his best player in practice.

Oliver requested to wear No. 94 at Westfield. But the coaches had something else in mind. They knew Oliver was special. They unretired No. 11 and presented it to Oliver.

A former linebacker named Herman Mitchell had worn No. 11 at Westfield. His junior year Mitchell helped Westfield to a 13-1 record and the regional semifinals. He committed to Oklahoma before his senior season. Then, Aug. 23, 2007, the day of a scrimmage, Mitchell was shot and killed at an apartment complex by a one-time friend.

Ed Oliver learned the legend of Herman Mitchell.

“I guess they felt I could fill the shoes,” said Oliver. “It was an honor. It’s ironic that I took a visit to Oklahoma. When they gave me 11, it gave me a purpose bigger than myself. Every day I competed like I wanted to be the best in the nation.”

Wearing No. 11 proved ideal for Oliver because he occasionally lined up as a fullback in Westfield’s goal line offense. He enjoyed that. No need to change jerseys for offense.

The Ed Oliver bobble-head created by UH to promote his candidacy for 2018 awards.

Wearing No. 10 at Houston made sense. But he didn’t carry the ball until the final game of his sophomore year. Oliver scored the first touchdown in Houston’s bowl game, a one-yard plunge in a 33-27 loss to Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl.

Ed Oliver is kind of a Cougar cowboy. He loves to ride, go-karts, motorcycles, horses. He has three horses on his Dad’s farm in Marksville, La.

Before the 2018 season, Houston created a bobble-head as a promotion for Oliver. This one is rather unique: Ed is riding a horse named Oreo, who in real life was maybe the most stubborn horse that Ed had ever ridden since he was 8 years old. Oliver credits riding Oreo for one of the reasons he is the player he is today.

Oliver has promised not to go through the motions his junior year at Houston, even with the NFL awaiting. He played through five games in 2017 with a nagging knee injury, but still impressed enough to claim the Outland Trophy.

“There’s a lot to be accomplished, so you’ve got to watch me,” he said, speaking more like a guy trying to sell tickets than inflate his ego.

“I want to do everything I did, and be healthy the whole year. I want to show people what they missed last year if I hadn’t gotten hurt. They saw a glimpse of Ed Oliver, a sneak peek. I could go forward pretty fast, but couldn’t move side-to-side. That’s what took away from my game.

“I’m not on cruise control, but I am going to enjoy my time. Once I leave, I can’t come back. I can’t put on that red and white and step on that field. The first couple of months I’ll probably miss it and coach Blum’s voice.”

The Cougars will miss him more.

FWAA adds Shaun Alexander Freshman Player of the Year Award

DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America is very pleased to announce a new college football award this season named after Shaun Alexander, former University of Alabama and Seattle Seahawks star running back.

The Shaun Alexander Freshman Player of the Year Award will be presented to the top player on the FWAA’s Freshman All-America Team who possesses many of the same attributes that Alexander displayed during his illustrious college and professional careers.

“The FWAA is very excited about this new award because of the person it represents,” said FWAA Executive Director  Steve Richardson. “It is very significant because Alexander also was an outstanding redshirt freshman for the Crimson Tide. His freshman season paved the way for future successes at Alabama and later in the NFL.  Shaun did it all with class, character and enthusiasm.”

Among other things, the recipient will be presented with a gold coin emblematic of this prestigious award.  The traits associated with the award are displayed on one side of the coin: “Ambassador, Legend, Faith, Passion, Talent, Focus, Character, Leader”.  On the other side of the coin, the phrases “Carry the Coin”  and “Finish the Game” are inscribed.

Alexander, a three-time Pro Bowl running back with the Seattle Seahawks, played for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1996-1999.  He set a school record during his redshirt freshman season with 291 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the Tide’s 29-0 victory over LSU at Tiger Stadium. He finished his college career with 3,565 yards rushing (41 touchdowns),  798 receiving yards (eight touchdown receptions) and one kickoff return for a touchdown while at Alabama.

Alexander then continued his outstanding success in the NFL, rushing for 9,453 yards and scoring 112 total touchdowns, fifteenth most in NFL history.  In 2005, he led the league in rushing and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player.

“It is an honor to have my name associated with the Freshman Player of the Year Award, issued by an organization as well-respected as the Football Writers Association of America,” Alexander said.  “I remember what it felt like when I started playing college football, hoping that I’d excel when my number was called to make my parents, family, and community proud.  Today’s college freshmen are no different.  I wish them all well and hope that the future winners of this Award, those who demonstrate talent, character, and the desire to be great, will carry these traits with them throughout their careers, both on and off the field.”

The recipient of the award will be revealed by Alexander at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 7 in San Jose, California in conjunction with the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship Game in nearby Santa Clara.  The FWAA’s 18th annual Freshman All-America Team will also be announced at that time by FWAA Past President Mike Griffith, chairman of the team’s selection committee since its inception during the 2001 season.

“Shaun Alexander ranks as one of the most dynamic, compelling athletes I’ve covered over the course of my years in the profession,” said Griffith, now a writer for the Cox Media Group/ DawgNation. “The FWAA’s decision to add a Freshman Player of the Year Award in Shaun’s name is a fitting tribute for what he has represented on and off the field throughout his career, and the type of impact and character freshmen players should look to emulate.”

Griffith oversees a panel of  writers on the selection committee who are geographically balanced across the country. They represent all 10 FBS conferences and major independents.  True freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible for the team.  Shaun Alexander will be a member of the team’s selection committee.

About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

2018 Outland Trophy watch list unveiled

82 players get consideration for nation’s top interior lineman

DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America has announced the preseason watch list for the 2018 Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. The list is highlighted by returning winner defensive tackle Ed Oliver of the University of Houston among 82 standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents.

This is the first year of a partnership with the NFID to present the Outland Trophy as part of a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of influenza (flu) prevention during the 2018-19 flu season. The award honoring the top interior lineman in college football will continue to be selected by the FWAA membership and has been rebranded as the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases with a social media hashtag of #FightFlu.

Oliver, a junior from Houston, last year became the first sophomore to win the award since its inception in 1946. He is the lone member of the 2017 FWAA All-America Team on either interior line to return this season as he attempts to join former University of Nebraska center Dave Rimington (1981, 1982) as a two-time winner of the award.

University of Wisconsin All-American Joe Thomas, the 2006 Outland Trophy winner who retired earlier this year after a stellar 11-year career with NFL’s Cleveland Browns, will serve as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador. Thomas has been an avid supporter of annual flu vaccines. He will make media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind people to get their annual flu shots.

Additionally, Thomas will announce the recipient of the 73rd Outland Trophy during ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6, live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Werner Enterprises Outland Trophy Awards Dinner produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 9, 2019. Up to seven semifinalists will be named on Nov. 14 in Omaha and three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19.

2018 OUTLAND TROPHY PRESENTED BY NFID PRESEASON WATCH LIST (82)

OT Paul Adams, Missouri DT Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
OT Trey Adams, Washington G Michael Jordan, Ohio State
OT Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas G Luke Juriga, Western Michigan
C Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest C John Keenoy, Western Michigan
G Alex Bars, Notre Dame G Marcus Keyes, Oklahoma State
OT Ryan Bates, Penn State C Sean Krepsz, Nevada
DT Terry Beckner, Missouri DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
DT Ryan Bee, Marshall G Jimmy Leatiota, Eastern Michigan
G David Beedle, Michigan State DT Ira Lewis, Baylor
G Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin DT Ray Lima, Iowa State
C Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin OT Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
OT Lanard Bonner, Arkansas State OT Greg Little, Ole Miss
G Tyler Bowling, Tulsa OT Toa Lobendahn, USC
C Garrett Bradbury, N.C. State OT Joe Lowery, Ohio
G Parker Braun, Georgia Tech OT Kaleb McGary, Washington
G Ben Bredeson, Michigan C Connor McGovern, Penn State
DT Derrick Brown, Auburn OT Patrick Mekari, California
C Jesse Burkett, Stanford C Chandler Miller, Tulsa
OT Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia DT David Moa, Boise State
DT Marquise Copeland, Cincinnati C Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
C Deontae Crumitie, Troy C Will Noble, Houston
OT Michael Deiter, Wisconsin OT Marcus Norman, USF
G Tommy Doles, Northwestern DT Ed Oliver, Houston
G O’Shea Dugas, Louisiana Tech C Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
C Alex Eberle, Florida State G Ben Powers, Oklahoma
OT David Edwards, Wisconsin OT Isaiah Prince, Ohio State
OT Bobby Evans, Oklahoma OT Dalton Risner, Kansas State
C Justin Falcinelli, Clemson DT Olive Sagapolu, Wisconsin
C Lo Falemaka, Utah G Dru Samia, Oklahoma
G Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas OT Max Scharping, NIU
C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia DT Jordon Scott, Oregon
DT Greg Gaines, Washington NT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
C Tyler Gauthier, Miami OT Trey Smith, Tennessee
DT Youhanna Ghaifan, Wyoming OT Trevon Tate, Memphis
C Jake Hanson, Oregon G Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon
G Phil Haynes, Wake Forest DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
G Nate Herbig, Stanford G Patrick Vahe, Texas
DT Trysten Hill, UCF DT Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech
OT Mitch Hyatt, Clemson DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
G Martez Ivey, Florida OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
C Jordan Johnson, UCF DT Daniel Wise, Kansas

By conference: Big Ten 13, ACC 12, Big 12 11, Pac-12 11, SEC 11, American Athletic 9, Mid-American 5, Independents 3, Mountain West 3, Conference USA 2 and Sun Belt 2.
By position: Offensive Tackles 22, Defensive Tackles 20, Centers 20, Offensive Guards 20.
Tackles, guards and centers are eligible for consideration
Candidates may be added or removed during the season

The distribution of watch list candidates is spread well among the conferences, with the Big Ten (13) leading the way. The ACC (12) is just behind, followed by the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC (11 each) as well as the American Athletic (9), Mid-American (5), Mountain West and Independents (3), and Conference USA and Sun Belt (2). The list includes 22 offensive tackles, 20 defensive tackles, 20 centers and 20 guards.

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 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 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the NCFAA.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Seventeen of the association’s 24 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the entire 2018 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 16: Bednarik Award/Maxwell Award
Tues., July 17: Davey O’Brien Award
Wed., July 18: Doak Walker Award
Thurs., July 19: Biletnikoff Award
Fri., July 20: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy
Mon., July 23: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award/Butkus Award
Tues., July 24: Outland Trophy presented by NFID/Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wed., July 25: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thurs., July 26: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., July 27: Walter Camp Award

The Outland Trophy, now in its 73rd year, 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.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. Visit nfid.org for more information.

About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

The new Outland Trophy branding marks were developed by Torch Creative, a Dallas-based design studio with a heavy focus on branding, logo design and development, illustration and typography design. For more information, visit torchcreative.com.

Related links:
Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Outland Trophy joins forces with NFID to #FightFlu
Download Outland Trophy presented by NFID logo

2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list unveiled

97 players get consideration for defensive player of the year

DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America released its 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List today, selecting 97 defensive standouts from 61 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences on a roster that includes three returning players from last season’s FWAA All-America team.

Ed Oliver, a junior tackle from the University of Houston and a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist a year ago, joins senior Clemson end Austin Bryant and junior end Sutton Smith of Northern Illinois as returning selections from the 2017 FWAA All-America first team.

Oliver, the 2017 Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s best interior lineman, is a two-time FWAA All-American after earning second-team mention in 2016. This year’s watch list for the nation’s top defensive player also includes LSU linebacker Devin White and Clemson end Clelin Ferrell, both second-team FWAA All-America selections a year ago, as well as Clemson tackle Christian Wilkins, a 2016 FWAA All-America first team member.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 14.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.

This year’s watch list includes at least four players from each of the 10 FBS conferences. The SEC (16) leads the 97-member list with the Big Ten (15) right behind. The ACC (13) and Pac-12 (12) also have double-digit representation, followed by the Big 12 (9), American Athletic and Mountain West (7), Conference USA and Independents (5), and the Mid-American and Sun Belt (4).
The list includes 27 backs, 26 linebackers, 24 ends and 20 tackles.

2018 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (97)

LB Dakota Allen, Texas Tech DB Tyler Horton, Boise State
DE Zach Allen, Boston College LB Khaleke Hudson, Michigan
LB Azeez Al-Shaair, Florida Atlantic DB Michael Jackson, Miami
DB Dravon Askew-Henry, West Virginia DE Cece Jefferson, Florida
LB Joe Bachie, Michigan State DE Jalen Jelks, Oregon
DE Ben Banogu, TCU DB Jaquan Johnson, Miami
DT Terry Beckner Jr., Missouri DT Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
DT Ryan Bee, Marshall DE Corbin Kaufusi, BYU
DB Julian Blackmon, Utah LB Jordan Kunaszyk, California
DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
DB Kris Boyd, Texas DE Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
DT Derrick Brown, Auburn DT Ira Lewis, Baylor
DB Blace Brown, Troy DB Shelton Lewis, Florida Atlantic
DE Austin Bryant, Clemson DT Ray Lima, Iowa State
LB Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington LB David Long Jr., West Virginia
LB Devin Bush, Michigan DB Julian Love, Notre Dame
DB T.J. Carter, Memphis DB Chase Lucas, Arizona State
DB Justin Clifton, Arkansas State DT David Moa, Boise State
LB Te’von Coney, Notre Dame LB James Nachtigal, Army West Point
DT Marquise Copeland, Cincinnati DE Anthony Nelson, Iowa
DE Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan DT Ed Oliver, Houston
DE Marlon Davidson, Auburn DB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
DE Raekwon Davis, Alabama LB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami
DB Lukas Denis, Boston College DB Delvon Randall, Temple
DB D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin DB Taylor Rapp, Washington
LB Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M DE Christian Rector, USC
DE Landis Durham, Texas A&M LB Malik Reed, Nevada
LB Troy Dye, Oregon LB David Reese, Florida
LB Cooper Edmiston, Tulsa DE Hunter Reese, Troy
DB Mike Edwards, Kentucky DT Olive Sagapolu, Wisconsin
LB T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin DT Jordon Scott, Oregon
DE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech DB Duke Shelley, Kansas State
DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern LB Cameron Smith, USC
DT Greg Gaines, Washington DE Sutton Smith, NIU
DE Rashan Gary, Michigan DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
DE Joe Gaziano, Northwestern LB Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
DT Youhanna Ghaifan, Wyoming DB Marvell Tell III, USC
DB Kyle Gibson, UCF DB Juan Thornhill, Virginia
DB Mark Gilbert, Duke DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
LB Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron DT Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech
LB Joe Giles-Harris, Duke LB Devin White, LSU
DE Carl Granderson, Wyoming DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
LB Terez Hall, Missouri DB Greedy Williams, LSU
LB De’Jon Harris, Arkansas DB Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
DB Tae Hayes, Appalachian State DE Chase Winovich, Michigan
DB Lavert Hill, Michigan DT Daniel Wise, Kansas
DT Trysten Hill, UCF DE Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
LB Khalil Hodge, Buffalo

By conference: SEC 16, Big Ten 15, ACC 13, Pac-12 12, Big 12 9, American Athletic 7, Mountain West 7, Conference USA 5, Independents 5, Mid-American 4, Sun Belt 4.

By position: Backs 27, Linebackers 26, Ends 24, Tackles 20.

Players may be added or removed from the list before or during the season

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Dec. 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center. In addition to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner’s announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Ohio State linebacker Tom Cousineau, a member of the FWAA’s 1977 All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football, then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

The Bronko Nagurski 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 24 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the NCFAA.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Seventeen of the association’s 24 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the entire 2018 preseason watch list calendar:

  • Mon., July 16: Bednarik Award/Maxwell Award
  • Tues., July 17: Davey O’Brien Award
  • Wed., July 18: Doak Walker Award
  • Thurs., July 19: Biletnikoff Award
  • Fri., July 20: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy
  • Mon., July 23: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award/Butkus Award
  • Tues., July 24: Outland Trophy presented by NFID/Bronko Nagurski Trophy
  • Wed., July 25: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
  • Thurs., July 26: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
  • Fri., July 27: Walter Camp Award

About the Football Writers Association of America

Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. Since 1991, the club has raised more than $2,000,000 to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

ACN, Inc.

Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, security and automation, computer support, payment processing and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 25 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Related link:
Download Bronko Nagurski Trophy logo

Outland Trophy joins forces with National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Public awareness campaign to feature Joe Thomas, will help #FightFlu

DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) announced a new partnership to present the 2018 Outland Trophy as part of a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of influenza (flu) prevention during the 2018-2019 flu season. Selected by FWAA, the trophy is awarded annually to the top interior lineman in college football.

The announcement was made by Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director, and Marla Dalton, CAE, NFID Executive Director and CEO. The deal was structured by Thom Hering, EVP at PSP Sports Partner Marketing.

“This partnership with the Outland Trophy offers NFID a timely platform to promote the importance of flu prevention to college football fans all across the U.S. and remind fans that annual flu vaccination is recommended for all individuals age six months and older,” said Dalton. Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious and sometimes life-threatening disease that affects between 5-20 percent of the U.S. population annually and accounts for more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 3,000-49,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Getting an annual flu shot is the most effective way to prevent influenza.

As part of the public awareness campaign to help #FightFlu, the award will be rebranded as the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. The social media hashtag #FightFlu will be visible on all Outland Trophy advertising, marketing, social media and public relations materials. Branded content and advertising will promote the award and the public awareness campaign in Touchdown Illustrated gameday programs at more than 1,000 college football games during the 2018 season, and in most of the major bowl game programs – including the College Football Playoff – as well as most NFL gameday programs.

University of Wisconsin All-American Joe Thomas, the 2006 Outland Trophy winner who retired earlier this year after a stellar 11-year career with NFL’s Cleveland Browns, will serve as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador. Thomas is the first player in NFL history to have a 10,363 consecutive snap streak and has been an avid supporter of annual flu vaccines. He will make media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind people to get their annual flu shots.

Additionally, Thomas will announce the recipient of the 2018 Outland Trophy during ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6 from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Greater Omaha (Nebraska) Sports Committee’s Outland Trophy Banquet on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

Complete release: http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/news/2018/outland180723.html

 

FWAA selects ‘Super 11’ for 2017 season

DALLAS — Ten previous winners and one first-time winner comprise the Ninth Annual Super 11 Awards, which the Football Writers Association of America gives out annually to the best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The awards announced this week are for the 2017 season.

USC claimed its eighth Super 11 award and fourth straight overall. Georgia notched its sixth award. Clemson and Colorado each won for a fifth time. It was Clemson’s third straight award and Colorado’s fourth award in five seasons. Houston won for the third time

Oklahoma, Wyoming, Miami of Ohio, Rice and South Alabama each picked up their second award.

Ohio State is the lone first-time winner in the awards selection that dates back to the 2009 season.

“This is one of the most important honors that the FWAA as an organization awards,” said Tim Griffin, the Big 12 editor for Cox Media Group and the FWAA’s longtime chairman of the Super 11 committee.

”There are many strong sports information departments around the nation. We are grateful for all of them. But this award is meant to honor the best of the best. It’s for those SIDs who provide strong media services and go the extra mile to provide help above and beyond the call of duty.”

Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

“We believe we have a great mix of schools here,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “Some schools which have been consistently good over the years, others who have had some history of being at the top and one new school. And there are several others who are on the cusp and could be in the Super 11 in future years.”

The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members and others who covered college football during the 2017 season.

In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA. The FWAA has awarded 56 different schools in this program over the years.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. 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, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

For more information on the Super 11, contact committee chairman Tim Griffin (210-823-3666, timgriffin59@hotmail.com) or visit the association’s official website, footballwriters.com.

Jim Harbaugh named keynote speaker for 2018 Bronko Nagurski banquet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 3, 2018) — The Charlotte Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, officially announced today Jim Harbaugh, Head Football Coach at the University of Michigan, as Keynote Speaker for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet scheduled for Monday, December 3.

“I am honored to be asked to speak at an award banquet named after a fellow Chicago Bear, Bronko Nagurski, a college and pro football hall of fame player and legend in the Windy City,” Harbaugh said. “We have always prided ourselves on having a program with a strong defense and our Defensive Coordinator Don Brown has mentored some of the best defensive players in the game. The traits that the Nagurski award candidates display are the same ones that are fundamental to our success at Michigan. I look forward to attending this event as it’s always great to be around the game’s best defensive student-athletes and coaches.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

On December 13, 2014, when named Michigan’s Head Football Coach Harbaugh said, “Throughout my life I have dreamed of coaching at the University of Michigan,” said Harbaugh, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. “Now I have the honor to live it.”

Harbaugh began coaching in 1994 during an impressive playing career. He served as volunteer assistant coach for his father, Jack Harbaugh, at Western Kentucky while still playing in the NFL (1994-2001). After finishing his playing career, Harbaugh was the Oakland Raiders Quarterbacks Coach (2002-03). Harbaugh was named Head Coach at the University of San Diego (2004-06) and Stanford University (2007-10) before becoming an NFL Head Coach for the San Francisco 49ers (2011-2014).  Harbaugh is now serving as the head coach of his alma mater, the University of Michigan. Harbaugh is one of four Big Ten coaches to win 10-plus games in each of his first two seasons directing a conference school.

Harbaugh is one of only two head coaches to collect back-to-back 10-win seasons in their first two seasons at U-M. In his first two seasons as the Michigan head coach, Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to 10-win seasons. U-M has appeared in a bowl game in all three seasons with Harbaugh at the helm of the program, including a New Year’s Six Bowl with the 2017 Orange Bowl, and two other bowls played on New Year’s Day (2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl; 2018 Outback Bowl).

As a former Michigan Wolverine quarterback, Harbaugh was one of Michigan’s all-time record holders for passing yards with 5,449. He also tallied 620 passing attempts, 387 completions, a 62.4% completion percentage, 31 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions. He held the career NCAA Division I-A passing efficiency record (149.6) for 12 years.

After his success in college Harbaugh moved on to play for six NFL teams including: the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, and the Carolina Panthers. Harbaugh played in 177 league games with 140 starts in his NFL career. He completed 2,305 of 3,918 passes for 26,288 yards with 129 touchdowns.
Harbaugh earned a B.A. in communications from Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 1986.

Harbaugh comes from a coaching family, and is the son of college football coach Jack Harbaugh and the brother of John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens.

About ACN, Inc.
Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for residential and business customers.  ACN provides the services people need and use every day including Home Phone Service, High Speed Internet, Wireless, Television, Home Security & Automation, Computer Support and Natural Gas and Electricity. ACN operates in 25 countries with offices located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.  For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.
About The Independence Fund
The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization that empowers our nation’s severely wounded veterans and the caregivers who support them to take control of their lives.  Through its dedicated mobility and treatment programs, the Fund assists veterans in transforming their lives toward a better future.  The Independence Fund believes we owe it to our veterans to provide the resources they need to move forward and build a strong foundation toward lasting emotional and physical healing in order to reestablish their independence.  To learn more, visit www.independencefund.org.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region.  Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than (80) companies.  The Club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches.  Through individual and corporate support, more than $2,000,000 has been raised to benefit the Touchdown Club’s scholarship efforts.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of the men and women across North America who cover college football for a living.  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 an All-America team.  Through its website, the FWAA works to improve communication among all those who work within the game. The FWAA also sponsors scholarships for aspiring writers and an annual writing contest.  Behind the leadership of President David Jones and Executive Director Steve Richardson and a board of veteran journalists, the FWAA continues grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. There are now over 1,000 members.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards.  The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients.  For more information, visit the association’s official website, www.NCFAA.org.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA defensive football player at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C.  All proceeds benefit the Charlotte Touchdown Club Scholarship Fund.  For more information call 704-347-2918 or www.touchdownclub.com.