DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America has announced the preseason watch list for the 2022 Outland Trophy, recognizing 89 returning standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. The 2022 season will close with the award’s 77th anniversary and the watch list offers a talented field of players to accompany two returning FWAA All-Americans.
The recipient of the 2022 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Thurs., Dec. 8. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 11, 2023.
Atop the list are two returning FWAA All-Americans, Baylor center Jacob Gall and Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi, each a second-team All-America selection last year. Gall, a redshirt senior, is one of three Baylor players on the list, tops in nation among the 67 teams represented along with Clemson and defending national champion Georgia. Oluwatimi, now a graduate student, will be in the middle of Michigan’s offensive line this fall after transferring from Virginia, where he guided the country’s third-leading offense up front, one that averaged 516.3 yards per game.
The Bears also offer redshirt senior Connor Galvin at offensive tackle and junior defensive tackle Siaki Ika, who plugged the middle of the nation’s 10th-best scoring defense at 18.3 points per game last year. Michigan, a College Football Playoff participant last year and one of 16 teams to have at least two players on the watch list, also offers junior guard Zak Zinter. The Wolverines averaged 214.36 rushing yards in their 14 games last year, 15th nationally.
Like Baylor, Clemson and Georgia’s three nominees are split between the offensive and defensive lines. The Bulldogs (first, 10.2 ppg) and Tigers (second, 14.8) were the top two scoring defenses in 2021. Returning off the Bulldogs’ stalwart defense that was second in rushing and total defense and included 2021 Outland Trophy winner Jordan Davis at defensive tackle, is his likely replacement Jalen Carter. The junior was a second-team All-SEC pick by the conference coaches last year despite playing behind two first-round NFL draft picks (Davis and fellow tackle Devonte Wyatt). Carter is joined by redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Broderick Jones and senior guard Warren Ericson.
The three Clemson players were each on last year’s watch list as well. The interior defense boasts two tackles in sophomore Bryan Bresee and senior Tyler Davis that helped the Tigers become seventh in rushing defense (96.31 ypg) and eighth in total defense (305.5) in the nation. They are joined by senior offensive tackle Jordan McFadden.
Only Georgia (Bill Stanfill, 1968) has had an Outland Trophy winner from the trio of schools with three selections. That led the Southeastern Conference again – Georgia led the SEC with three last year also – and the SEC led all conferences with 14 overall selections from nine different schools, with three of them hosting a player on each side of the line of scrimmage. Alabama, the national runner-up whose six all-time Outland winners are second only to Nebraska’s nine, has senior defensive tackle Justin Ebiogbe and redshirt senior guard Emil Ekiyor Jr. on the team. Florida boasts junior defensive tackle Gervon Dexter and senior offensive tackle O’Cyrus Torrence, a transfer from Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana. Texas A&M has junior guard Layden Robinson on its offensive front with junior defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson in the middle of its defense.
Cincinnati, which qualified for the playoff with its standout defense a year ago, has two players on the list but both are on offense. Jake Renfro, a junior center, will guide the Bearcats’ front with senior offensive tackle Dylan O’Quinn on the outside. The pair of players from Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin led the Big Ten’s list of 11 players from eight different schools, second only to the SEC. Three of its 11 are defensive tackles – redshirt senior Jacob Slade of Michigan State, senior PJ Mustipher of Penn State and senior nose Keeanu Benton of Wisconsin.
Boise State, BYU, Miami, Notre Dame, Oregon, Pitt, Troy, USC and Utah also have two players on the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference had 11 players with the Big 12 and Pac-12 each with 10 followed by the American Athletic, Mountain West and Sun Belt Conferences plus the Independents with six each. Conference USA has five selections and the Mid-American Conference four. There are 29 offensive tackles on this year’s list, just ahead of 25 defensive tackles to go with 18 centers and 17 guards. Just over half of the 131 Football Bowl Subdivision schools – 67 – are represented on the list.
2022 OUTLAND TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
|C Steve Avila, TCU||G A.J. Gillie, Louisiana||G Lokahi Pauole, UCF|
|G Clark Barrington, BYU||OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma||OT Nolan Potter Jr., NIU|
|DT Kyon Barrs, Arizona||C Sincere Haynesworth, Tulane||C Jake Renfro, Cincinnati|
|G T.J. Bass, Oregon||OT Cooper Hodges, App State||G Layden Robinson, Texas A&M|
|OT Cooper Beebe, Kansas State||DT Siaki Ika, Baylor||DT Jaquelin Roy, LSU|
|DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin||DT McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M||G Brendan Schlittler, Liberty|
|OT Connor Bishop, Army||DT Desjuan Johnson, Toledo||C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota|
|DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson||OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State||OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern|
|G Marco Brewer, Oregon State||OT Broderick Jones, Georgia||DT Jacob Slade, Michigan State|
|G Nick Broeker, Ole Miss||OT Dawand Jones, Ohio State||OT Everett Smalley, Air Force|
|DT Jalen Carter, Georgia||DT Calijah Kancey, Pitt||G Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan|
|G Caleb Chandler, Louisville||OT Jaxson Kirkland, Washington||OT Cole Spencer, Texas Tech|
|DT Elijah Chatman, SMU||C Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina||OT Austin Stidham, Troy|
|DT Will Choloh, Troy||OT Quantavious Leslie, WKU||DT Dante Stills, West Virginia|
|C Eli Cox, Kentucky||G Josh Lugg, Notre Dame||C Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas|
|OT Braeden Daniels, Utah||G Christian Mahogany, Boston College||C Malik Sumter, Georgia State|
|DT Tyler Davis, Clemson||C Ahofitu Maka, UTSA||DT Junior Tafuna, Utah|
|DT Gervon Dexter, Florida||DT Scott Matlock, Boise State||DT Leonard Taylor, Miami|
|C Trevor Downing, Iowa State||OT Jordan McFadden, Clemson||OT Kadeem Telfort, UAB|
|DT Cory Durden, N.C. State||C Manase Mose, North Texas||OT Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin|
|DT Justin Eboigbe, Alabama||DT Myles Murphy, North Carolina||OT O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida|
|G Emil Ekiyor, Alabama||DT PJ Mustipher, Penn State||DT Tuli Tuipulotu, USC|
|DT Ikenna Enechukwu, Rice||OT Zion Nelson, Miami||C Alama Uluave, San Diego State|
|G Warren Ericson, Georgia||C Drake Nugent, Stanford||G Andrew Vorhees, USC|
|OT Alfred Edwards, Utah State||OT Dylan O’Quinn, Cincinnati||OT Carter Warren, Pitt|
|C Alex Forsyth, Oregon||OT John Ojukwu, Boise State||DT Daymond Williams, Buffalo|
|OT Blake Freeland, BYU||C Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan||OT Dylan Wonnum, South Carolina|
|OT Aaron Frost, Nevada||OT Alex Palczewski, Illinois||G Hunter Woodard, Oklahoma State|
|C Jacob Gall, Baylor||C Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame||G Zak Zinter, Michigan|
|OT Connor Galvin, Baylor||OT Patrick Paul, Houston|
Tackles, guards and centers are eligible for consideration; Candidates may be added or removed during the season.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
The Outland Trophy 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 college football’s most prestigious awards. The NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit NCFAA.org for more information.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards are presenting their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2022 preseason watch list calendar:
- Wed., July 27: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
- Thurs., July 28: Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
- Fri., July 29: Walter Camp Award
- Mon., Aug. 1: Bednarik Award