FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas senior and 2007 Rimington Trophy winner Jonathan Luigs has been named one of six finalists for the 2008 Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the outstanding center in college football.
Luigs is a finalist for the third-consecutive season after also garnering the recognition in 2006 as a sophomore and in 2007 as a junior. He became the first Razorback offensive lineman to win a national award when he was selected as the 2007 Rimington Trophy winner following last season. Luigs is attempting to become the first player in the history of the award to win the Rimington Trophy multiple times.
Luigs is joined by Antoine Caldwell (Alabama), Alex Mack (California), A.Q. Shipley (Penn State), Max Unger (Oregon) and Eric Wood (Louisville) on the 2008 finalist list.
Luigs was a 2008 first-team pre-season All-American and started all 12 games for the Razorbacks in his senior season. In fact, Luigs started in every one of the 49 career games he played in as a Razorback, including ending his career with a 46-game consecutive game starting streak.
The Little Rock, Ark., native paved the way for six 1,000-yard rushers during his four-year career including Darren McFadden (2005, 2006, 2007), Felix Jones (2006, 2007) and Michael Smith (2008). Smith racked up 1,072 yards rushing this season and averaged 107.2 yards per game, second in the Southeastern Conference.
In his Razorback career, Luigs blocked for 46 100-yard rushing performances including six 100-yard single game rushing totals this season. Smith rushed for more than 100 yards five times in 2008 while freshman Dennis Johnson rushed for 127 yards in the season finale against LSU.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be announcedduring the ESPNU/Home Depot College Football Awards show, broadcast live from Orlando, Florida on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.
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, Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.
About the Rimington Trophy
The nine-year old trophy 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), Dan Mozes (West Virginia, 2006), and Jonathan Luigs (2007). Since its inception the Rimington Trophy has raised over $1.3 million for its benefactor, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It, in turn, is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation which, to date, has raised nearly $65 million for Cystic Fibrosis research.