FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior center Jonathan Luigs has been named to the watch list for the 61st Outland Trophy, an award presented annually to the nation’s top college football interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). Luigs is one of 41 players and one of 11 centers named to the preliminary list of candidates for 2007. Centers, guards and tackles are all eligible for Outland Trophy consideration.
Luigs has already garnered spots on several pre-season All-America teams including earning first-team honors from The Sporting News and The Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. The Sporting News also named him the nation’s No. 1 center in its position rankings. The Little Rock, Ark., native is a pre-season first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and has already been selected to the preliminary watch list for the Lombardi Award, another honor recognizing the nation’s best college football lineman.
Last season, Luigs earned first-team All-SEC honors, third-team Associated Press All-America honors and was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s top center. He anchored a Razorbacks’ offensive front that was one of the best blocking units in the nation. In fact, Arkansas’ offensive front finished second in the nation in sacks allowed per game yielding only nine sacks in 14 games. Luigs and his teammates cleared the way for the Southeastern Conference’s top rushing offense and the nation’s fourth-best rushing attack averaging 228.5 rushing yards per outing. Arkansas boasted 13 100-yard rushing efforts in 14 games including 1,647 yards from Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and 1,168 yards from All-SEC selection Felix Jones. The duo became the first teammates in Arkansas history to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.
Luigs started all 14 games at center for the Razorbacks this season after playing at both offensive guard and center as a freshman in 2005. He averaged a team-best 89.7 percent grade overall, including a 97.1 percent clip in pass blocking. Luigs had 35 knockdowns last season.
The Outland Trophy has been awarded to the best interior lineman in college football since 1946. The winner is selected by the FWAA’s All-America Committee, which selects the association’s 25-man All-America team and picks the three Outland Trophy finalists and the winner.
The 2007 Outland Trophy announcement will be on Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla., on the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show. The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be in January 2008 in Omaha, Neb.
The Outland Trophy is named after the late John Outland, a lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas won the 2006 Outland Trophy.
Arkansas boasts a pair of Outland Trophy winners in its history. Offensive guard and defensive tackle Bud Brooks was the first Razorback to capture the award in 1954. Tackle Loyd Phillips is the most recent Arkansas player to win the Outland Trophy. Phillips was selected as the winner in 1966.
In addition, the Razorbacks have featured their fair share of finalists for the Outland Trophy. The most recent finalist from Arkansas was offensive tackle Shawn Andrews in 2003.
2007 Outland Trophy Watch List
Name, School, Pos., Class, Hometown
Jeff Akeroyd, Houston, OT, Sr., Lubbock, Texas
Sete Aulai, BYU, C, Sr., Carson, Calif.
Sam Baker, USC, OT, Sr., Tustin, Calif.
Kirk Barton, Ohio State, OT, Sr., Massillon, Ohio
Alex Boone, Ohio State, OT, Jr., Lakewood, Ohio
Ryan Clady, Boise State, OT, Jr., Rialto, Calif.
Robert Conley, Utah, G, Jr., LaMarque, Texas
Kyle Cunningham, Louisiana-Monroe, OT, Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Dan Davis, Connecticut, DT, Sr. Planfield, N.J.
Glenn Dorsey, LSU, DT, Sr., Gonzales, La.
Franklin Dunbar, OT, Jr., Waycross, Ga.
Ryan Durand, Syracuse, G, Jr. Leominster, Mass.
King Dunlap, Auburn, OT, Sr., Brentwood, Tenn.
Sedrick Ellis, USC, DT, Sr., Chino, Calif.
Andre Fluellen, Florida State, DT, Sr. Cartersville, Ga.
Eric Foster, Rutgers, DT, Sr. Homestead, Fla.
Adrian Grady, Louisville, DT, Jr. Nichollsville, Ga.
Dallas Griffin, Texas, C, Sr., Katy, Texas
Antron Harper, Navy, C, Sr., Eastman, Ga.
Robby Heos, Rice, G, Sr., Pearland, Texas
Matt Hines, Nevada, DT, Sr., Modesto, Calif.
Steve Justice, Wake Forest, C, Sr., Port Orange, Fla.
Adam Kraus, Michigan, G, Sr., New Orleans, La.
Doug Legursky, Marshall, C, Sr., Beckley, W.V.
Kory Lichtensteiger, Bowling Green, C, Sr., Van Wert, Ohio
Matty Lindner, TCU, G, Sr., Comfort, Texas
Derek Lokey, Texas, DT, Sr., Denton, Texas
Jake Long, Michigan, OT, Sr., Lapeer, Mich.
Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas, C, Jr., Little Rock, Ark.
Alex Mack, California, C, Jr., Santa Barbara, Calif.
Michael Oher, Ole Miss, OT, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
Frank Okam, Texas, DT, Sr., Dallas, Texas
Barry Richardson, Clemson, OT, Sr., Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Matt Slauson, Nebraska, OT, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Andre Smith, Alabama, OT, So., Birmingham, Ala.
Pedro Sosa, Rutgers, OT, Sr., Union City, N.J.
John Sullivan, Notre Dame, C, Sr., Old Greenwich, Conn.
Cody Wallace, Texas A&M, C, Sr., Cuero, Texas
Ryan Wendell, Fresno State, G, Sr., Diamond Bar, Calif.
Eric Wood, Louisville, C, Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio
Jeremy Zuttah, Rutgers, OT, Sr., Edison, N.J.