Three finalists named for 2018 Outland Trophy Reply

For just the second time, teammates are finalists

DALLAS A pair of Alabama teammates – offensive tackle Jonah Williams and nose guard Quinnen Williams – and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins were named as the three finalists for the 2018 Outland Trophy by the Football Writers Association of America.

The 2018 Outland Trophy, presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), is awarded annually to the nation’s best college interior lineman on offense or defense. NFID is presenting the trophy to help increase awareness about the importance of annual flu prevention. Getting vaccinated each year is your best line of defense against the flu.

Since the Outland Trophy began naming finalists for the award in 1987, this is just the second time teammates have been finalists. In 1997, Nebraska offensive guard Aaron Taylor and defensive tackle Jason Peter were finalists for the award won by Taylor.

Alabama has had four Outland Trophy winners since Chris Samuels won the program’s first Outland in 1999, with its most recent winner being Cam Robinson in 2016 along with Barrett Jones (2011) and Andre Smith (2008). The Crimson Tide have had at least one semifinalist in seven of the last eight seasons. Quinnen Williams would be the first defensive player to win the Outland Trophy for Alabama; each of the previous four have been offensive tackles. Wilkins is Clemson’s third finalist in program history but would be the Tigers’ first winner. Clemson’s last finalist was offensive tackle Stacy Long in 1990, and the Tigers also had defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry among the finalists in 1987.

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, is serving as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador on behalf of NFID. Thomas has been an avid supporter of annual flu vaccination and is making media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind everyone 6 months and older to get an annual flu vaccine.

The recipient of the 73rd Outland Trophy will be announced 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 Outland Trophy Awards Dinner produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 9, 2019.

Here is a closer look at each of the three finalists:

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6-4, 300, Gr., Springfield, Mass.): A standout player for the unbeaten Tigers, even as part of a defensive line that features four returning All-Americans. Clemson has held opponents without an offensive touchdown in eight consecutive quarters dating to Nov. 3. Wilkins was an FWAA First-Team All-America selection in 2016. He has 12.0 tackles for loss, second on the team, to go with four sacks and 45 tackles (32 solo) for the season. Clemson was No. 1 nationally in tackles for loss in the first two of Wilkins’ three prior seasons in the middle and was No. 6 last year. His 16.0 stops behind the line have resulted in 85 yards of losses. Wilkins will play in his 55th career game Saturday against South Carolina. Wilkins graduated in 2017 with a degree in communications in only two-and-a-half years.

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama (6-5, 301, Jr., Folsom, Calif.): The left tackle for the unbeaten Crimson Tide continues to pace the nation’s No. 5 but arguably most-feared offense. Williams was the Outland Trophy Offensive Player of the Month for September after grading out above 90 percent for the month. He is the leader of the nation’s third-best offense (541.5 total ypg average) that has topped 500 total yards in 10 of 11 games. The junior has started all 40 games in his career and had perhaps his best game against LSU when Alabama averaged 7.6 yards per rush and gained 576 yards against a then-Top-10 defense and allowed only one sack on a season-high 42 pass attempts. The Crimson Tide are third in the nation in scoring at 48.7 points per game and only yield 0.91 sacks per game, tied for ninth nationally.

Quinnen Williams, NG, Alabama (6-4, 295, So., Birmingham, Ala.): The upstart sophomore leads unbeaten Alabama with 15.0 tackles for loss for minus-62 yards, second in the SEC, and is tied for 10th in the SEC with 6.0 sacks. Like Jonah Williams, he too posted a career game against LSU tallying career highs in tackles (10) and sacks (2.5) and tying a career high in tackles for loss (3.5). Williams clogs the middle and allows those around him to create havoc – Alabama has had at least 10 tackles for loss in five of 11 games and the Crimson Tide’s 37 sacks are tied for No. 6 nationally. Williams’ 55 tackles include 34 solo stops.

The three finalists were chosen by the FWAA from a field of eight semifinalists that also included, in alphabetical order: North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury, Wisconsin guard Michael Deiter, Clemson offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Oklahoma guard Ben Powers.

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 (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 our story.

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.

Media Contacts

On the web:
OutlandTrophy.com, FootballWriters.com

Twitter:
@NFIDvaccines, @OutlandTrophy, @TheFWAA, @JoeThomas73, #FightFlu

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

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2018 Outland Trophy semifinalists unveiled Reply

OMAHA, Neb. — Eight semifinalists for the 2018 Outland Trophy – including two pairs of teammates – were announced Wednesday by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee and the Football Writers Association of America. The eight semifinalists are players from six schools at five different positions representing five different conferences.

The 2018 Outland Trophy, presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), is awarded annually to the nation’s best college interior lineman on offense or defense. NFID is presenting the trophy to help increase awareness about the importance of annual flu prevention. Getting vaccinated each year is your best line of defense against the flu.

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, is serving as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador on behalf of NFID. Thomas has been an avid supporter of annual flu vaccination and is making media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind everyone 6 months and older to get an annual flu vaccine.

The field for the 2018 Outland Trophy is as follows, listed in alphabetical order: North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury, Wisconsin guard Michael Deiter, Clemson offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Oklahoma guard Ben Powers, Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams and Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams.

The eight semifinalists will be pared to three finalists next week and announced on Nov. 20. The recipient of the 73rd Outland Trophy will be announced 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 Outland Trophy Awards Dinner produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 9, 2019.

Here is a closer look at each of the semifinalists:

Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State (6-3, 300, Gr., Charlotte, N.C.): A three-year starter on the line, the team co-captain has played all but four snaps for the Wolfpack this season. In 679 snaps he has not allowed a sack and has only allowed two pressures on 348 pass attempts. His protection has helped place Ryan Finley on the cusp to become N.C. State’s only quarterback to pass for 3,000-plus yards in three different seasons. Has led the blocking for an offense averaging 31.4 points and 453.0 yards per game. Earned his degree last year in business supply operations management.

Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin (6-6, 321, Sr., Curtice, Ohio): A mainstay on the Badgers’ offensive front – he has started all 51 games of his career – that is currently paving the way for the nation’s leading rusher and the sixth-best ground attack. Jonathan Taylor (1,548 yards, 154.8 per game) is the fourth Wisconsin back to record back-to-back 1,500-yard rushing seasons and is 25 yards ahead by average to the nation’s second-leading. Deiter (DEE-ter) should make his school-record 52nd career start Saturday at Purdue – 21 have come at left guard, 16 at center and 14 at left tackle.

Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson (6-5, 310, Jr., Suwanee, Ga.): The Tigers’ left tackle is helping produce offensive numbers in record territory. The unbeaten Tigers are one of five schools with three active 1,000-yard career rushers on its current roster (Hyatt has been up front for all three), and Clemson is ninth in the nation in total offense at 526.6 yards per game, which is currently 10th in school history. Hyatt, the Outland Trophy Offensive Player of the Month for October, already owns Clemson’s career record for snaps from scrimmage (3,420) and will break another record with a 53rd career start Saturday against Duke.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (6-3, 290, Jr., Houston, Texas): The 2017 Outland Trophy winner was the first sophomore to ever win the Outland Trophy and earned FWAA First-Team All-America honors last year. He was an FWAA Freshman All-America in 2016 as well. Despite missing three games and constant double and triple teams, Oliver leads all defensive linemen nationally with an average of 7.29 tackles per game. Oliver’s 1.93 tackles for loss per game is third nationally, and he has a career average of 1.64 tackles for loss per game. His final home game is Thursday against Tulane, as he has already declared to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma (6-4, 314, Sr., Wichita, Kan.): The Sooners’ left guard is the leader of a line that is currently powering the nation’s top offense in yards per game (577.1) and yards per play (8.91). The 8.91 yards per play is on an NCAA-record pace above Hawaii’s 8.6 from 2006. Oklahoma is the nation’s only team this year with at least 30 rushing touchdowns (31) and at least 30 passing TDs (33), and the Sooners have rushed for at least 300 yards and passed for at least 300 a school-record four times already this year, and in three straight games.

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6-4, 300, Gr., Springfield, Mass.): A standout player for the unbeaten Tigers, even as part of a defensive line featuring four returning All-Americans. Wilkins was an FWAA First-Team All-America selection in 2016. He has 10.5 tackles for loss, second on the team, to go with three sacks and 40 tackles (29 solo) for the season. Clemson was No. 1 nationally in tackles for loss in the first two of Wilkins’ three prior seasons in the middle and was No. 6 last year. His 13.5 stops behind the line have resulted in 67 yards of losses. Wilkins will play in his 54th career game Saturday against Duke. Wilkins graduated in 2017 with a degree in communications in only two-and-a-half years.

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama (6-5, 301, Jr., Folsom, Calif.): The left tackle for the unbeaten Crimson Tide continues to pace the nation’s No. 5 but arguably most-feared offense. Williams was the Outland Trophy Offensive Player of the Month for September after grading out above 90 percent for the month. The junior has started all 39 games in his career and had perhaps his best game against LSU when Alabama averaged 7.6 yards per rush and gained 576 yards against a then-Top-10 defense and allowed only one sack on a season-high 42 pass attempts. Alabama only yields 0.67 sacks per game, fourth nationally.

Quinnen Williams, NG, Alabama (6-4, 295, So., Birmingham, Ala.): The upstart sophomore leads unbeaten Alabama with 14.0 tackles for loss for minus-58 yards and is tied for 11th in the SEC with 5.0 sacks. He too posted a career game against LSU, tallying career highs in tackles (10) and sacks (2.5) and tying a career high in tackles for loss (3.5). Williams clogs the middle and allows those around him to create havoc – Alabama has had at least 10 tackles for loss in five of 10 games and in three straight. The Crimson Tide’s 36 sacks (3.60 per game) are both tied for No. 3 nationally.

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 (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 our story.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, 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.

Media Contacts

On the web
OutlandTrophy.com, FootballWriters.com

Twitter
@NFIDvaccines, @OutlandTrophy, @TheFWAA, @JoeThomas73, #FightFlu

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 11 Reply

In The Trenches, our weekly Outland Trophy matchup preview presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, features the nation’s top two teams in conference battles as Alabama hosts Mississippi State and Clemson travels to Boston College.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181110.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 10

Key battles in the Big Ten and Big 12 races headline In The Trenches, our weekly look at matchups featuring Outland Trophy candidates. Michigan plays host to Penn State and tries to keep its upper hand in the East Division race and Texas travels to Morgantown to face high-flying West Virginia in what may be an elimination game in the battle for the conference’s regular-season title.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181103.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 9

One of college football’s great scenes and rivalries leads our weekly In The Trenches preview as Florida and Georgia do battle in Jacksonville to stay atop the East Division of the SEC. And, 2017 Outland winner Ed Oliver and the Houston defense face a stiff test when unbeaten South Florida comes to town.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181027.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 8

The conference races are heating up as we take a look at matchups this weekend that will have impact on the ACC and SEC races. N.C. State and Clemson is a battle of unbeatens in Death Valley, while Tennessee, coming off its upset of Auburn, plays host to top-ranked Alabama.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181020.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 7

Key conference matchups in the Big Ten and Pac-12 provide us a look at plenty of the nation’s best interior linemen as In The Trenches previews Wisconsin at Michigan and Washington at Oregon in our weekly spotlight of Outland Trophy candidates. The Badgers and Wolverines will knock helmets in prime time on ABC, while the Ducks and Huskies get going in the afternoon, also televised on ABC.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181013.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 6

Our weekly look In The Trenches is focused on Dallas, where Oklahoma and Texas wage their annual border state battle, this one for a early spot in the Big 12 driver’s seat. Four members of the preseason Outland Trophy Watch List will be on the field at the Cotton Bowl as the resurgent Longhorns will have their hands full with the Big 12’s most potent offense. Meanwhile, Auburn and Mississippi State will tussle in Starkville in a key SEC West battle.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches181006.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 5

Our weekly installment of In The Trenches takes a look at a pair of primetime battles that with likely have College Football Playoff implications. Ohio State travels to Happy Valley to take on Penn State for early bragging rights in the Big Ten, while Notre Dame renews its rivalry at Stanford in another Top 10 matchup. Both games feature five players from the preseason Outland Trophy Watch List.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches180929.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

 

In the Trenches: Outland Trophy Matchups Week 4

Our weekly installment of In The Trenches takes a look at a pair of key early-season conference matchups on opposite sides of the country. Clemson and Georgia Tech do battle in Atlanta in the afternoon, following by a telling Pac-12 matchup between Stanford and Oregon in Eugene in prime time. Both games feature notable Outland Trophy candidates and are likely decided by the ground game.

http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/awards/outland/inthetrenches180922.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