2016 OUTLAND TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS NAMED

Five standout offensive linemen lauded by FWAA

OMAHA (FWAA) – Five semifinalists for the 2016 Outland Trophy were named on Wednesday night by the Football Writers Association of America and were featured during a reception here, where 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.

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. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of more than 900 men and women from the City of Omaha, the State of Nebraska, and others. The membership serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities in the Greater Omaha sports area. In addition to the Outland Trophy Award Dinner, the Greater Omaha Sports Committee promotes high school, college, and professional sports in the Greater Omaha area and the Midwest.

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