Reveal Suits to present national team of the week

DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America is proud to announce a new presenting sponsor for its National Team of the Week. Reveal Suits, a Texas-based custom clothier, will present the weekly award, which will continue for its 17th season.

Each Monday during the 2018 season, the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week will be announced exclusively between 4-7 p.m. ET on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM during “Off Campus with Mark Packer,” The initial winner will be announced next Tuesday, after the completion of the season’s first full weekend of games. The FWAA’s All-America Committee selects the weekly winner and all Division I FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected as the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week.

“Reveal Suits is thrilled to be part of a prestigious tradition by joining the Football Writers Association of America as the presenting sponsor for the National Team of the Week,” said Reveal Suits Owner and CEO Carlton Dixon. “We look forward to an exciting season and inviting the best in collegiate football and their universities into our Reveal Suits family. Our brand carries a winning tradition just like what these teams exemplify on and off the field each week, and we couldn’t be more proud to honor these fine squads.”

In all, 88 different schools have earned National Team of the Week honors with 56 earning the honor multiple times. Michigan State has been the FWAA’s National Team of the Week seven times to lead the nation. Oklahoma, Stanford and TCU have each been so honored six times.

“From the beginning in 2002, the FWAA National Team of the Week has been a great addition to our awards inventory,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “Each year, we enjoy sharing in the joys of some of the season’s best wins by rewarding those deserving schools, while also engaging our prestigious All-America committee.”

Reveal Suits’ reputation and image has been established by the specialization of customized suits to show the pride of each organization and personal brand it represents. Located in Grand Prairie, Texas, Reveal was formed on June 1, 2018, by Owner/CEO Carlton Dixon, a former men’s basketball player of the University of Texas. For more information, visit revealsuits.com.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 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 tiger@fwaa.com.

Related links:
All-time FWAA National Teams of the Week

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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.

2018 Best Writing Contest winners announced

DALLAS — Three  former first-place winners — Dennis Dodd, Christopher Walsh and Edward Aschoff — garnered  first-place finishes again in the  26th Annual FWAA Best Writing Contest.  John Bohnenkamp was a first-time winner in Game Story to account for the other top award.

Jesse Temple, Chris Vannini, David Teel and Dodd claimed awards in different categories.  Please note, writers are identified by their affiliation (below) at the time they wrote the stories. A few have changed affiliations.

First-place winners will receive game balls, certificates and cash prizes. Second- and third-place winners will get certificates and cash prizes. Honorable mention award recipients will receive certificates. All will be recognized at the annual FWAA Awards Breakfast on Jan. 7, 2019, in San Jose, Calif.

Click on the name of any of the first-place winners to read their winning story.

GAME

FIRST PLACE — John Bohnenkamp, The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa)

SECOND PLACE —Max Olson, The Athletic

THIRD PLACE Nicole Auerbach, The Athletic

HONORABLE MENTION — Jesse Temple, Land of 10; David Teel, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.; Bill Bender, Sporting News; Chris Vannini, The Athletic

FEATURES

FIRST PLACE — Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports.com

SECOND PLACE — Chris Tomasson, St. Paul Pioneer Press

THIRD PLACE — Jesse Temple, Land of 10
HONORABLE MENTION — Chris Vannini, The Athletic; David Hale, ESPN.com; Mirin Fader, Bleacher Report

COLUMNS

FIRST PLACE Mark Schlabach and Edward Aschoff, ESPN.com

SECOND PLACE David Teel, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.

THIRD PLACE Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports

HONORABLE MENTION J.P. Scott, Athlon Sports; Ron Higgins, NOLA.com/Times-Picayune; Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com; Luke DeCock, Raleigh News & Observer; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman

ENTERPRISE

FIRST PLACE — Christopher Walsh, SEC Country

SECOND PLACE — Dennis Dodd and Jon Solomon, CBSSports.com

THIRD PLACE — David Ching, Ross Dellenger and Luke Johnson, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

HONORABLE MENTION — Alex Scarborough, ESPN.com; Matt Hayes, Bleacher Report; Jesse Temple, Land of 10

FWAA issues reminder of media access standards as season approaches

The Football Writers Association of America is concerned about access for its members covering college football. The FWAA for several years has set high access standards for SID Departments.  Below are those suggestions.

  • Players (eligible and playing in varsity games) who are requested should be available to media during Mondays and Tuesdays of game week (minimum).
  • Defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator should be available to media once a week during the season (minimum) and once a month during the off-season (minimum).
  • Freshmen who play should be available to media.
  • If former players and/or boosters are allowed into scrimmages or practices, the media should not be excluded from those same scrimmages or practices.
  • Coaches should be available to media on their campuses at least once a week during the season for no less than 30 minutes. They also should be made available after practice each day for updates on the team. Weekly telephonic press conferences do not count toward these times.
  • A “no cheering in the press box” statement should be made in the press box before the beginning of each half of play. In addition, SID’s should make every attempt to keep the press box quiet and escort disruptive individuals to the exits.
  • Requests for quotes from key players injured in a game should be granted by the home SID and his staff.
  • FWAA member(s) should help the each SID with requests for players to be interviewed after a game. Any player who has played (and is not injured) and is not made available for interviews will be so noted by FWAA observers. The FWAA recommends open locker rooms after games, but short of this, any player who plays in a game and is not injured, upon request, should be made available to the media.
  • An FWAA pool reporter or a reputable news person should be designated by the home SID before every game in case there is an officiating controversy during the game.
  • Boosters should not be present at postgame news conferences involving the media, coaches and players. Interruptions or noise will be duly noted by the FWAA observer. Press boxes where non-media are disruptive will also be noted.

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

 

College Football America Yearbook now available

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — RoadTripSports.com is proud to announce the release of the 2018 edition of the College Football America Yearbook, an annual publication that previews every college football conference at every level of college football in the United States and Canada.

The fifth annual print edition is available via Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com at a list price of $39.99, while the digital edition is available via iBooks for $9.99. Many retailers, however, offer the print edition for even less.

“Counting high school games, bowl games and all-star games, our staff attended more than 100 football games again in 2017,” says Kendall Webb, the publisher of the College Football America Yearbook. “Then, like we always do, we spent the spring sorting it all out and preparing the latest edition of the yearbook.

“I honestly believe it’s the best yearbook we’ve ever released, and we’re all excited to get it out there in the market and in the hands of college football fans.”

The College Football America Yearbook is published independently by Webb with Matthew Postins serving as the publication’s editor-in-chief. Chuck Cox, meanwhile, assists as the director of editorial content. All of the publication’s staff members are members of the Football Writers Association of America, and collectively serve on the selection committees for several of college football’s major postseason awards.

This year’s book features Alabama head coach Nick Saban on the cover. Saban led the Crimson Tide to a fifth national title under his watch in 2017.

Some of the features in the 318-page publication include:

  • Top Ten Games of 2018: Five FBS games and one game each in FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and Juco that will be impactful this season.
  • The Heisman Race: A look at the front-runners and dark horses for college football’s most prestigious award in 2018.
  • The Dream Team: The College Football America Yearbook’s unique take on major college football’s All-America team.
  • Schedules and Results: 2018 schedules and 2017 results for every college football team in the United States, including all NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA, USCAA, NJCAA and CCCAA programs.
  • Additionally, College Football America 2018 Yearbook previews all of the conferences at every level in the United States along with the four conferences of Canada’s U Sports. The yearbook also provides updates of Mexico’s CONADEIP and ONEFA leagues.

Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Le7FKT

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2LtndY4

Kindle/Kindle Fire:

Apple iTunes/iBooks:

Best Writing Contest entry deadline extended

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ENTRIES IN THE FWAA’S 2018 BEST WRITING CONTEST HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 15.

FWAA members may begin submitting entries in the 2018 Best Writing Contest now.

CATEGORIES
•Game Story (Immediate Deadline)
•Feature Story/Profile
•Enterprise/Investigative
•Column/Analysis/Commentary

BEAT WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD

In addition, see below, we have created a special award for the top beat writer as judged by a special FWAA committee headed by FWAA board member Malcolm Moran. He is now the director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program, IUPUI.

WRITING CONTEST RULES

You must be an FWAA member in good standing to enter.

Deadline: July 1, 2018. Entries sent after the deadline WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Limit: One (1) article per category, although a series of articles may be submitted in the enterprise category.

Entries must have appeared in print or on line between Feb. 1, 2017 and Jan. 31, 2018.

Entries must be submitted electronically to contest@fwaa.com.

Entries not sent to this e-mail address will not be accepted

Send MS Word or text files only. DO NOT SEND HTML files, Word Perfect files, stories in other word processing software or links to stories on the Internet or electronic libraries

Make your entry easy to read by taking out unnecessary carriage returns (They can give your entry an odd look when opened by a judge’s word processing program)

Delete any embedded advertising, photos and cutlines from the files (The file should contain only your story and your identifying information)

At the top of each entry, the following information should be included:
•Writer(s)
•Publication or online service
•Category
•Date of publication
•E-mail address and telephone number for the writer(s) of the entry

The entries will be sorted and stripped of identifying information and forwarded to the judge(s).

Files containing your entries should follow this naming convention: yourname-category.doc

The category must be one of these four words: Game, Feature, Enterprise or Column

Example: KenStephens-game.doc

Only entries sent electronically will be accepted and all entries will be sorted and stripped of identifying information and forwarded to the judge(s)

FWAA BEAT WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD: If you have a nomination of a beat writer who covers major college football (either a team or a conference) or you want to nominate yourself, please send an e-mail/letter explaining the qualifications of the person (no more than 250 words) to:

Malcolm Moran

Sports Capital Journalism Program IUPUI

University Library 3100J

755 W. Michigan

Indianapolis, IN 46202

Malcolm’s e-mail is malcolmmoran1@gmail.com. Malcolm and his committee will then make inquiries into the FWAA members nominated. In order to qualify for this award the person nominated must have been an FWAA member during the 2017 football season.

Questions? E-mail Ken Stephens at ken.stephens@sbcglobal.net.