OMAHA, Neb. ---
Texas A&M senior offensive tackle Jake Matthews was named a
semifinalist for the 2013 Outland Trophy, which is given annually to the
nation's top interior lineman by the Football Writers
Association of America (FWAA).
Joining Matthews as semifinalists were
Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh defensive tackle; Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama offensive tackle;
Cyril Richardson, Baylor offensive guard; Bryan Stork, Florida State center; and
David Yankey, Stanford offensive guard.
Matthews, from Missouri
City, Texas, has been a key cog in the Aggies' offensive front for four
record-setting seasons. Texas A&M has broken and re-broken its
school record for passing offense, total offense and
scoring offense the past two seasons, and is on pace to shatter all
three records again in 2013. With Matthews helping clear the way, the
Aggies lead the Southeastern Conference in passing offense (379.2
yards/G), total offense (578.0 yards/G) and scoring
offense (49.2 points/G).
All-American by the FWAA in 2012, Matthews was a 2013 Midseason
All-American by Sports Illustrated and is also a semifinalist for the
Rotary Lombardi Award.
The field for the
Outland Trophy will be reduced to three in the next week. Those
finalists will be announced on Nov. 25 and featured on ESPN the
following evening at 5:30 p.m. ET. The winner of the 68th Outland
Trophy will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 12 on ESPN during the The Home Depot College Football Awards from the Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Pittsburgh, Alabama and
Texas A&M have had previous players claim the Outland Trophy;
Baylor, Florida State and Stanford have never produced a winner. Last
year's winner and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013
NFL Draft, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, was the Aggies'
first Outland winner and now is on the roster for the Jacksonville
Alabama has had multiple
winners, including the 2012 winner Barrett Jones, who played several
spots on the offensive line for the Tide's recent national championship
teams and is now a rookie on the St. Louis
Rams' roster. Pittsburgh's winner, Mark May (in 1980), is a current
ESPN analyst, College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL lineman.
2013 Outland Trophy semifinalists:
Donald, 6-0, 285-pound
senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., has had the most productive season in
college football for a defensive tackle. He leads the country in tackles
for a loss per game (2.3) by a wide margin and
he is tied for sixth in sacks. He also has four forced fumbles. A
tackle with great agility, he's often double teamed and even at times
310-pound junior from Hyattsville, Md., is one of the mainstays on the
Crimson Tide's offensive line that has produced an Outland Trophy winner
or finalist the past two seasons. The unbeaten Crimson
Tide, possibly headed for a third straight national title, has scored
50 touchdowns and averaged 38.8 points per game.
Matthews, a 6-5,
305-pound senior from Missouri City, Texas, actually moved over to
Joeckel's left tackle spot this season and has been the main protector
for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel
now that Joeckel is in the NFL. Matthews is a returning FWAA
All-American from a year ago.
340-pound senior from Fort Worth, Texas, is described as a "dominating
drive blocker" in some reviews. He's one of the major reasons Baylor has
the nation's top scoring offense. He has played
tackle, but moved back to guard these past two seasons. Baylor's
rushing game averages just over 300 yards per game, while the Bears are
averaging a remarkable 61.2 points per game to lead the nation.
Stork, 6-4, 300-pound
senior from Vero Beach, Fla., has played every position on the offensive
line and is the top lineman on the No. 2-ranked Seminoles' powerful
offense which averages 52.7 points a game. A fifth-year
player, he has made 36 career starts.
Yankey, 6-5, 311-pound
senior from Roswell, Ga., anchors Stanford's strong offensive line and
is a pulling guard for the Cardinal's running game. In Stanford's 26-20
victory over Oregon, it ran the ball on all
17 of its fourth-quarter offensive snaps. He has 35 career starts.
The Outland Trophy,
which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after
the late John Outland, an All-American lineman at the University of
Pennsylvania in the late 1900s. The Outland
Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the
Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
For the 17th consecutive
year, the presentation banquet of the Outland Trophy will occur in
Omaha. The official 2013 Outland Trophy presentation to the winner will
be at a banquet sponsored by the Greater Omaha
Sports Committee. At the same banquet, North Carolina State center Jim
Ritcher will receive an Outland Trophy, which is sponsored by the
Downtown Omaha Rotary Club. He was the 1979 winner of the award before
trophies were handed out by the FWAA.
This year the Outland Trophy Award Dinner will be held Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014,
at 7 p.m., at the DoubleTree Hotel, 16th & Dodge Streets. Tickets
are $75 and tables of ten sell for $750. Also appearing at the dinner
for the 16th straight year will be the winners of Nebraska's football
senior awards – the Novak Trophy, the Chamberlin Trophy and the Cletus
Fischer Native Son Award.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the
National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA
encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21
awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit
ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America,
a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200
men and women who cover college football. The membership includes
and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve
the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday
operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more
information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact
Steve Richardson at email@example.com or 972-713-6198.
The Greater Omaha Sports Committee,
founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of
more than 300 men and women from the City of Omaha and the State of
Nebraska. The membership serves
to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities in the
Greater Omaha sports area.