Given annually to the nation’s top interior lineman on either side of the ball, the Outland Trophy Thursday morning became the latest in an ongoing line of awards to release their preseason watch list.
This year, 75 players make up the initial grouping of players to watch, including the lone Football Writers Association of America first-team All-American from last year to make the list — Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. Matthews’ teammate, Luke Joeckel, became the first Aggie to take home the Outland Trophy last year, a few months before being selected No. 2 overall in the April NFL draft.
All three finalists from a year ago — Joeckel, Alabama’s Barrett Jones and North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper — have gone on to the NFL.
Of the 75 players, 25 are offensive tackles; 20 are defensive tackles; 19 are guards; and 11 are centers.
Stanford was the only team with three players represented (Kevin Danser, Cameron Fleming and David Yankey). 11 other teams had two players each.
Conference-wise, the SEC leads the way with 16 players on the initial watch list. The only conferences in double figures are the Pac-12 (12), ACC (11), Big Ten (10) and Big 12 (10). All told, all 10 FBS conferences are represented, as well as three players from two different independent programs (two from Notre Dame, one from BYU).
Below is the complete 75-player watch list: