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.

1958 Outland Trophy winner Zeke Smith passes away

Zeke Smith, 1958 winner of the Outland Trophy.

Zeke Smith, 1958 winner of the Outland Trophy.

Zeke Smith, winner of the FWAA’s Outland Trophy in 1958, died Friday at the age of 79.

Smith was a two-way player and a member of Auburn’s 1957 national championship team.

After Auburn, he played in the NFL in 1960 and 1961 and the CFL in 1962 and 1963. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

Today Auburn’s top defensive player each season is given the Zeke Smith Award.

CLICK HERE to read Smith’s obituary at AuburnTigers.com.

Photo gallery: Outland Trophy presentation banquet

These pictures come from the banquet at which Stanford’s Joshua Garnett received his Outland Trophy on Jan. 14 in Omaha.  Randy White, the 1974 winner at Maryland, also received his trophy. Before 1988 winners received only a plaque. Since then Omaha’s Downtown Rotary has sponsored presentation of an Outland Trophy to one of the early winners each year.

Omaha rolls out 19th Outland Trophy banquet

ffaw_redesignOMAHA — Join us for the presentation of the Outland Trophy to college football’s top interior lineman. The 19th consecutive Outland Trophy Award Dinner in Omaha will be on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Downtown DoubleTree Hotel, 16th & Dodge Streets. Tickets are $75 each and tables of 10 sell for $750.

Stanford offensive guard Joshua Garnett, the 2015 Outland Trophy winner, and Stanford Coach, David Shaw, will be at the dinner.

This prestigious football evening will also feature former Outland Award Winner Randy White (Maryland ’74).  White, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, went on to a tremendous career with the Dallas Cowboys.  Rotary Club of Omaha-Downtown is sponsoring his Outland Trophy.  From 1946 through 1989, the Outland winner was presented a plaque.
outland trophy bwThe second annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award, also sponsored by the Rotary Club of Omaha-Downtown, will be presented to Jim Ridlon Sr., a gifted artist and athlete who played halfback and defensive back for Syracuse from 1954 to 1957. He played six seasons with the 49ers and then with the Dallas Cowboys. Ridlon was named an All-Pro defensive back in 1964.

Coach Osborne will present his award.  Last year’s inaugural winner, Milt Tenopir, will be at the event.

Also appearing at the dinner for the 18th straight year will be the winners of Nebraska’s football senior awards: the Novak Trophy (Andy Janovich) the Chamberlin Trophy (Jack Gangwish) and the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award (Ryne Reeves).  Nebraska Coach Mike Riley and Cornhusker assistant Coaches have been invited to attend.

For information call (402) 346-8003.

 

Photo gallery: College Football Awards Show in Atlanta

Stanford’s Joshua Garnett wins 2015 Outland Trophy

ffaw_redesignATLANTA — Offensive guard Joshua Garnett was announced as Stanford’s first Outland Trophy winner on Thursday evening during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

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.

outland trophy bwGarnett 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.

Joshua Garnett

Joshua Garnett

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Three finalists for Outland Trophy named

ffaw_redesignOMAHA — Three finalists for the 2015 Outland Trophy — two offensive linemen and one defensive tackle — were announced on Tuesday afternoon on The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special on ESPNU.

The Football Writers Association of America, in a vote of its 2015 All-America Committee, has determined the following three finalists for the award, in alphabetical order: Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango, Stanford offensive guard Joshua Garnett and Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.

The winner of the 70th Outland Trophy, awarded to the best interior lineman in college football on offense or defense, will be revealed Thurs., Dec. 10 on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards. For the first time the show will originate from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta from 7 to 9 p.m. ET.

outland trophy bwHere is a look at the three finalists:

Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor (6-6, 320, Sr., Cedar Park, Texas): Drango has a team-high 45 career starts (23 consecutive) for the powerful Bears’ offensive line. He is also a William V. Campbell Trophy finalist (top academic player). He is in his fourth season as a starting left tackle for an offense that is on pace to break an FBS record for total yards gained per game and is close to the all-time scoring record in points per game. The Bears’ offense is No. 1 in scoring and yards gained per game in the FBS in 2015. Drango is grading out at 93 percent and has 36 knockdowns. The veteran Baylor offensive line has allowed just 12 sacks in 10 games.

Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford (6-5, 321, Sr., Puyallup, Wash.): A dominant run blocker for the Cardinal, which has scored 30 or more points in each of its past 10 games. He has started 26 straight games for Stanford, which has rushed for at least 100 yards in 45 of its last 48 games. Garnett, a team captain, is a great finisher of blocks and through 11 games had 82 pancakes. He has helped Stanford win the time of possession battle in 15 of its last 17 games with his consistent play. Stanford is 15th in the FBS in rushing offense and 21st in scoring.

A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (6-4, 312, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas): A talented defender on the Crimson Tide’s line who has been one of the Alabama coaches’ defensive players of the game five times this season. He set the tone in the Crimson Tide’s recent 31-6 victory at Mississippi State with a career-high 2.5 sacks and leads the team with eight quarterback hurries to go with a career-high 36 tackles. He has seven tackles for 23 yards in losses this season and has broken up two passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a kick. Alabama is tied for third in scoring defense and is third in total defense in the FBS.

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FWAA names semifinalists for Outland Trophy

ffaw_redesignOMAHA Six semifinalists for the 2015 Outland Trophy five offensive linemen and one defensive tackle were announced on Thursday night during a reception hosted by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee.

The Football Writers Association of America, in a call of its 2015 All-America Committee, has determined the following six players as semifinalists for the award, in alphabetical order: Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango, Stanford offensive guard Joshua Garnett, Alabama center Ryan Kelly, Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs and Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.

outland trophy bwThe field for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football on offense or defense, will be reduced to three players early next week. Those finalists will be announced the evening of Nov. 24 on ESPNU at 5 p.m. ET during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special. The winner of the 70th Outland Trophy will be revealed on Dec. 10 from 7-9 p.m. ET on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards, for the first time live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Here is a look at the semifinalists:

Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor (6-6, 320, Sr., Cedar Park, Texas): An Outland Trophy semifinalist in 2014, Drango has 44 career starts for the powerful Bears offense. He is also a William V. Campbell Trophy finalist (top academic player). The veteran Baylor offensive lineman has allowed just 11 sacks in nine games. He is in his fourth season as a starting left tackle for an offense that is currently on pace to break FBS records for scoring in a season and total yards gained per game. The Baylor offense is No. 1 in scoring and fifth in rushing this season in the FBS and Drango is the unquestioned leader on the line.

Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford (6-5, 321, Sr., Puyallup, Wash.): A veteran guard who has been a dominant run blocker for the Cardinal, which has scored 30 points in each of its past nine games. He has started 25 straight games for Stanford, which has rushed for at least 100 yards in 44 of its last 47 games. A team captain, Garnett is a great finisher of blocks and through eight games had 64 “pancakes.” He has helped Stanford win the time of possession battle in 15 of the last 16 games with consistent line play. Stanford is 16th in the FBS in rushing offense and 22nd in scoring.

Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (6-5, 297, Sr., West Chester, Ohio): A William V. Campbell Trophy (top academic player) semifinalist, Kelly is the leader of Alabama’s offensive line, which paves the way for Heisman Trophy candidate running back Derrick Henry. Kelly, a third-year starter at center and captain, was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week after Alabama’s 30-16 victory over LSU in which the Tide gained 250 yards rushing. In that game, Kelly graded out at 92 percent. He also was one of the Alabama coaches’ offensive players of the game against Wisconsin, Georgia, Tennessee and LSU.

A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (6-4, 312, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas): A talented defender on the Crimson Tide’s line who has been one of the Alabama coaches’ defensive players of the game five times this season. He set the tone in the Crimson Tide’s 31-6 victory at Mississippi State last week with 2.5 sacks. He leads the team with eight quarterback hurries and has made a career-high 34 tackles this season, including seven tackles for 23 yards in losses. In addition, he has broken up two passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a kick.

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (6-7, 305, Sr., Elkhart, Ind.): In his senior season for the Hoosiers, he has allowed just two sacks in 365 called pass plays. He has started in 44 of 45 career games and has 56 pancakes in 805 snaps this season. The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten in total offense, are second in passing offense, third in rushing offense and fourth in scoring offense.

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (6-5, 315, Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.): Considered a top NFL prospect for a team that is 23rd in the nation in rushing offense and 30th in scoring. Stanley has started every game this season at left tackle and has started 36 straight games overall for the Fighting Irish, whose only loss this season came at now top-ranked Clemson, 24-22.

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Omaha gearing up for Outland Trophy presentation

outland 3

You are invited!!!

Join us for the 3rd Annual Semi-Finalists Reception for this year’s Outland Award Trophy on Thursday, November 19 at 7 PM, DJ’s Dugout, 10th & Capitol Avenue, doors open at 6:00 pm.

The event is about college football –  in Omaha that will make national news! “LIVE FROM OMAHA NEBRASKA,” the Greater Omaha Sports Committee will Officially Announce the Semi-Finalists for the Outland!!

Save and get your group together!  Advance tickets are just $10 each.  Includes two drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres and door prizes throughout the evening.  Tickets at the door are $15 each.  Reply to this email or call our office at the Greater Omaha Sports Committee (402) 346-8003.  We will have your tickets at the reception.

outland 1The Outland Trophy Award Dinner’s emcee, Greg Sharpe, Voice of the Huskers, will also be the Master of Ceremonies at the event. The evening plans will include a number of familiar faces in the Omaha Sports Community including, Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald, members of the Outland Trophy Award Dinner Committee, Rotary Club of Omaha-Downtown and the Greater Omaha Sports Committee.  Husker Greats will also be in attendance. The Outland Dinner Committee would like to thank our Reception Sponsors: Coca-Cola, Coors Light, and the Omaha World-Herald.

The evening will offer door prizes and chance to participate in a silent auction with exciting items, a hint of these items include: Front Row tickets to the College World Series; Pacific League AAA professional championship baseball items; KC Chiefs NFL game tickets; autographed books by Tom Shatel, Sean Callahan and Eric Crouch and other great books; Nebraska volleyball tickets; Creighton women’s & men’s nasketball tickets; Coors Light Neon.  There will be pregame — LIVE from 2 to 6 at the event — Unsportsmanlike Conduct. There will be video streaming with each of the semi-finalists for the Award.  Those recognized last year are all playing in the NFL on Sunday, except one junior who will probably make the list again this year.

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