FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas sophomore center Jonathan Luigs has been named to the watch list for the 2006 Rimington Trophy. This season marks the seventh year of the Rimington Trophy recognizing the most outstanding center in college football and the first as a regular member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).
Luigs is one of 39 players on the pre-season watch list and one of only five sophomores to be included among the candidates. In addition, 11 juniors and 23 seniors make up the remainder of the field.
“It is an honor for Jonathan to be named among the best centers in the nation as a sophomore,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He showed a lot of poise and maturity last season playing at both offensive guard and center. I’m confident that he will continue to improve with every snap. He has the luxury of having a talented and veteran group around him. The offensive line worked extremely hard this spring. I know that they will continue to work together in the weight room and on their conditioning this summer to get ready for the season.”
Luigs was a versatile performer up front for the Hogs in 2005. He started seven games at right guard before manning the starting position at center for the final three games. He racked up 52 knockdown blocks on the season. He helped clear the way for 10 100-yard rushing efforts by UA running backs and a 1,000-yard rusher (Darren McFadden). Arkansas led the SEC and ranked 12th in the nation in rushing yards per game (216.91) last season.
2005 Rimington Trophy winner Greg Eslinger of Minnesota was a sixth-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos and is expected to be a big contributor on the Broncos’ offensive line. In addition 2005 marked the inaugural presentation of the President Gerald R. Ford Legends of Center Award, accepted on behalf of President Ford by John Cappelletti (1973 Heisman Trophy Winner, Penn State University) at the annual Rimington Trophy banquet.
The seven-year-old trophy is presented by Canon, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, USA and Black & Decker. The award is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Minnesota’s Eslinger, Michigan’s David Baas (2004 co-winner), LSU’s Ben Wilkerson (2004 co-winner), Virginia Tech’s Jake Grove, Miami’s Brett Romberg, Ohio State’s LeCharles Bentley and Nebraska’s Dominic Raiola are past recipients. 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.
The winner is selected by determining the consensus All-American center pick from four existing All-America Teams including: American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News and The Football Writers Association of America.
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. Policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they maybe 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 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 the Rimington Trophy committee.
The winner will be honored at the awards banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., in January 2007.
2006 Spring Rimington Trophy Watch List
Name, School, Class, Ht, Wt
Pete Bier, Army, Senior, 6-4, 282
Mark Bihl, Michigan, Senior, 6-5, 297
Antoine Caldwell, Alabama, Sophomore, 6-4, 294
Aaron Danenhauer, Tulsa, Senior, 6-5, 302
Robby D’Angelo, Southern Mississippi, Junior, 6-1, 277
Kyle DeVan , Oregon State, Junior, 6-2 , 293
Sterling Doty, Houston, Senior, 6-2, 285
Robby Felix, UTEP, Sophomore, 6-3, 270
Mark Fenton, Colorado, Junior, 6-4, 290
Dustin Fry, Clemson, Senior, 6-3, 315
Cedric Gagne-Marcoux, Central Florida, Senior, 6-2, 280
Leroy Harris, North Carolina State, Senior, 6-3, 295
Tanner Jenkins, Arkansas State, Senior, 6-1, 292
Brandon Jones, Texas Tech, Senior, 6-3, 305
Nick Jones, Georgia, Senior, 6-3, 295
Ryan Kalil , Southern California, Senior, 6-4 , 290
Jason Karcher, Wyoming, Senior, 6-3, 291
Adam Korby, Idaho, Sophomore, 6-2, 292
Robbie Krutilla, Western Michigan, Junior, 6-3, 308
Doug Legursky, Marshall, Junior, 6-3, 308
Kory Lichtensteiger, Bowling Green, Junior, 6-3, 305
Enoka Lucas, Oregon, Senior, 6-4, 299
Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas, Sophomore, 6-4, 305
Kurt Mann, Nebraska, Senior, 6-4, 280
Dan Mozes, West Virginia, Senior, 6-4, 290
Dave Ochoa, Kansas, Senior, 6-4, 295
James Rossi, Navy, Junior, 6-1, 269
Samson Satele, Hawaii, Senior, 6-3, 311
Lyle Sendlein, Texas, Junior, 6-5, 305
Stephen Schuh, Memphis, Senior, 6-1, 288
Adam Spieker, Missouri, Junior, 6-3, 310
Darnell Stapleton, Rutgers, Senior, 6-3, 305
Scott Stephenson, Iowa State, Senior, 6-4, 305
John Sullivan, Notre Dame, Senior, 6-4, 280
Cody Wallace, Texas A&M, Junior, 6-4, 296
Chris White , South Carolina, Senior, 6-3, 316
Anthony Wollschlager, Miami, Senior, 6-4, 281
Eric Wood, Louisville, Sophomore, 6-4, 290
Kyle Young , Fresno State, Junior, 6-5, 335