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Five Semifinalists For 2016 Outland Trophy

EthanPocicLSU.jpg

Five Semifinalists For 2016 Outland Trophy

Five semifinalists for the 2016 Outland Trophy were named by the Football Writers Association of America. The trophy presentation banquet for the 71st Outland Trophy winner will be held in January.

The five semifinalists – all offensive linemen – in alphabetical order, are: Pat Elflein, Ohio State; Cody O’Connell, Washington State; Ethan Pocic, LSU; Cam Robinson, Alabama; and Connor Williams, Texas.

Photo - OL Ethan Pocic - LSU

Elflein is a 6-3, 300-pound senior from Pickerington, Ohio, who previously played guard, but is a center this season for the nation’s second-ranked team. O’Connell is a behemoth 6-8, 354-pound junior guard from Wenatchee, Wash., who helps trigger Washington State’s high-octane offense which ranks second in the country in passing with quarterback Luke Falk. Pocic, a 6-7, 302-pound senior center from Lemont, Ill., anchors the line for LSU’s potent rushing game, which is led by Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice. Robinson, a 6-6, 310-pound junior from Monroe, La., is the top offensive tackle on the No. 1-ranked team in college football that produces 492.2 offensive yards per game. Williams, a 6-6, 288-pound sophomore tackle from Coppell, Texas, blocks for the leading rusher in the FBS in yards per game, D’Onta Foreman.

The five semifinalists will be whittled down to three finalists and announced on Tues., Nov. 22, during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special, starting at 3 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The winner of the 2016 Outland Trophy will be announced Thurs., Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN, the main show beginning at 7 p.m. ET, live from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The Outland Trophy is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, is the third-oldest player award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award. It has been awarded to the best interior lineman in college football on offense or defense since 1946 when Notre Dame’s George Connor was named the recipient.

For the 20th consecutive year, the presentation of the Outland Trophy will occur in Omaha, on Jan. 11, 2017, at a banquet sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. At the same banquet, Oklahoma offensive lineman Greg Roberts will receive an Outland Trophy. Roberts was the 1978 winner of the award before trophies were handed out by the FWAA. His Oklahoma coach, the legendary Barry Switzer, will receive the third annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award during the evening.

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 22 awards boast more than 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

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.

Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe, Biletnikoff 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 CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year-round basis related to NFL and 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