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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior Jonathan Luigs has been named one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the outstanding center in college football. Luigs is a finalist for the second-consecutive season after also garnering the recognition in 2006 as a sophomore.
In addition to Luigs, Steve Justice (Wake Forest), Kory Lichtensteiger (Bowling Green), Alex Mack (California), Adam Spieker (Missouri) and Cody Wallace (Texas A&M) were named to the 2007 finalist list.
“We are extremely proud of Jonathan and his selection as a Rimington Trophy finalist for the second time,” Arkansas offensive line coach and running game coordinator Mike Markuson said. “He has had a great season and is the centerpiece of our offensive front. With all that we have asked him to do, especially with the WildHog formation, he has done an outstanding job.”
Luigs has been at the forefront of an offensive line that has cleared the way for the nation’s No. 4 rushing offense averaging 296.8 yards per game. He cleared the way for two 1,000-yard rushers in Darren McFadden (1,725) and Felix Jones (1,117). Luigs leads the Razorbacks with a 90.4 percent grade average this season, including team-best averages on running plays (86.1 percent) and passing plays (96.9 percent). He has paved the way for 36 100-yard rushing games in 35 career games, including a school-record 16 100-yard performances in 12 games this season.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards show, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla., on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy is selected by determining the consensus All-American center pick from four existing All-America teams.
While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these four prestigious teams to determine a winner:
· American Football Coaches Association (AFCA)
· Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)
· Sporting News (SN)
· Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)
Because the selectors of these four All-America teams can place centers in a "mix" of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11-man first teams can often have two centers. The Rimington Trophy committee’s policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the four All-America teams.
The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy committee.
The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008.
About the Rimington Trophy
The eight-year old trophy is presented by Canon and The Cornhusker Marriott. The award is presented by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Esiason created his foundation in 1993 to support research and treatment of cystic fibrosis. Esiason and Dave Rimington were teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals from 1984-87. Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first team All- America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982 during which he became the John Outland Trophy’s only double winner as the nation’s premiere college interior lineman.
Past recipients include Dominic Raiola (Nebraska. 2000), LeCharles Bentley (Ohio State, 2001), Brett Romberg (Miami, 2002), Jake Grove (Virginia Tech, 2003), co-winners David Baas (Michigan, 2004) and Ben Wilkerson (LSU, 2004), Greg Eslinger (Minnesota, 2005) and Dan Mozes (West Virginia, 2006). Since its inception the Rimington Trophy Award has raised over $1.03 million for its benefactor, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It, in turn, is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation which, to date, has raised nearly $60 million for Cystic Fibrosis research. The Rimington Trophy is a fully accredited member of the National College Football Awards Association.