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2013 Award Finalists - Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski, Maxwell & Chuck Bednarik Awards

2013 Award Finalists - Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski, Maxwell & Chuck Bednarik Awards
Three finalists for the 2013 Outland Trophy were announced on Monday by the Football Writers Association of America: Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews and Baylor offensive guard Cyril Richardson.

Photo – Outland Finalists - Matthews, Richardson & Donald

These finalists will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special on ESPNU on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m. ET. The winner of the 68th Outland Trophy will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 7-9 p.m. ET at the Atlantic Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Both Pittsburgh and Texas A&M have had previous players claim the Outland Trophy; Baylor has not. Last year's winner and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, was the Aggies' first Outland winner and now is on the roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

2013 Outland Trophy Finalists:
Aaron Donald, 6-0, 280-pound senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., leads the country in tackles for a loss per game (2.4) by a wide margin and he is tied for 10th nationally in sacks with 10. He also has four forced fumbles. A tackle with great agility, he's often double-teamed and even at times triple-teamed. His tackles for loss total is already ahead of that of former Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh, who won both the Outland and Nagurski trophies in 2009. In the Panthers' 11th game of the season, a 17-16 victory over Syracuse, he blocked an extra point for the victory, making the Panthers bowl-eligible.

Jake Matthews, a 6-5, 305-pound senior from Missouri City, Texas, actually moved over to Joeckel's left tackle spot this season and has been the main protector for 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Matthews is a returning FWAA All-American from a year ago. With Matthews anchoring the line, Texas A&M's offense has been one of the most prolific in college football, averaging 552.6 total yards (fourth nationally) and 365.1 passing (sixth nationally). The Aggies (8-3) average 45.6 points per game (fifth nationally). He's the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and has two cousins currently in the NFL. His younger brother, Mike, is the current starting center for the Aggies.

Cyril Richardson, 6-5, 340-pound senior from Fort Worth, Texas, is described as a "dominating drive blocker" in some reviews. He's one of the major reasons Baylor has the nation's top scoring offense at 56.8 points per game and is No. 1 total offense at 661.6 yards per game. He has played tackle, but moved back to guard the past two seasons. Baylor's rushing game averages just under 280 yards per game (ninth nationally) and its passing offense is fourth in the country at 381.9 yards per game. The Bears (10-1) won their first 10 games of the season before falling to Oklahoma State.

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-American lineman at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

For the 17th consecutive year, the presentation banquet of the Outland Trophy will occur in Omaha. The official 2013 Outland Trophy presentation to the winner will be at a banquet sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. At the same banquet, North Carolina State center Jim Ritcher will receive an Outland Trophy, which is sponsored by the Downtown Omaha Rotary Club. He was the 1979 winner of the award before trophies were handed out by the FWAA.

This year the Outland Trophy Award Dinner will be held Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at 7 p.m., at the DoubleTree Hotel, 16th & Dodge Streets. Tickets are $75 and tables of ten sell for $750. Also appearing at the dinner for the 16th straight year will be the winners of Nebraska's football senior awards – the Novak Trophy, the Chamberlin Trophy and the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 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 gameday 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 or 972-713-6198.

All Finalists are listed in alphabetical order with the player's school, position and class designated.

Five Finalists for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy
National Defensive Player of the Year

CB Darqueze Dennard - Michigan State
DT Aaron Donald - Pittsburgh
CB Lamarcus Joyner - Florida State
LB C.J. Mosley - Alabama
DE Michael Sam - Missouri

Finalists for the 77th Maxwell Award
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB, Sophomore
AJ McCarron, Alabama, QB, Senior
Jameis Winston, Florida State, QB, Freshman

Finalists for the 19th Chuck Bednarik Award
Anthony Barr, UCLA, LB, Senior
Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh, DT, Senior
C.J. Mosley Alabama, LB, Senior

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

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