DALLAS (FWAA) — The Football Writers Association of America announced its 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List on Thursday, with 81 standout interior linemen from all 10 Division I FBS conferences represented.
Two of the three 2016 Outland Trophy finalists are on the 2017 watch list – Washington State’s senior offensive guard Cody O’Connell and Texas junior offensive tackle Connor Williams. Both were first-team FWAA All-Americans in 2016 and finished behind Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson, who claimed the 2016 Outland Trophy and was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft (No. 34 overall) by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In addition, there are four other 2016 FWAA All-Americans on the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List: Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (first team), and Washington offensive tackle Trey Adams, Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver from the second team.
The ACC (17) led all conferences with members on the Watch List, followed by the Big Ten and SEC (11 each), Pac-12 (10), American Athletic (9), Big 12 and Mid-American (6 each), Independents and Mountain West (4 each), Conference USA (2) and Sun Belt (1).
The list includes 24 offensive tackles, 21 defensive tackles, 20 centers and 16 offensive 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 list will be trimmed to six or seven semifinalists on Wed., Nov. 15. Six days later, three Outland Trophy finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner of the 72nd Outland Trophy – named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century – will be announced live on ESPN at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thurs., Dec. 7. For the third straight year, the show will air from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 10, 2018 in Omaha, Neb. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the same banquet.
Below are the representatives of the 2017 preseason watch list:
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