clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

10 Mid-American Conference players named to Rimington Trophy watch list

MAC the conference with the most watchlist players

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson
Who will follow in Pat Elflein’s footsteps with Rimington Trophy glory?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year when everyone is releasing their preseason info, media guides, top lists, and today’s nugget: watch lists! There’s a dozen or so major college football awards, and today’s Award du jour is the Rimington Trophy, the one that goes to the nation’s top center.

Ask anyone who played football and they’ll hopefully tell you that the center position is one of the most underrated on the field. As a former offensive lineman, I can’t help but to agree. Sure, your glory boy QBs and WRs are who get all the headlines are easy to point to as important, but they wouldn’t have anything to do until the center snapped the ball. So, yes, it’s the most important.

Today marked the release of the Rimington Trophy’s initial watchlist of players who may find themselves needing to clear off some shelf space, and Mid-American Conference student athletes were well-represented.

From the MAC home office:

The Rimington Trophy Committee has released its 2017 Fall Watch List, which includes 10 MAC centers for this upcoming football season, the most of any FBS football conference for this 2017 season. Representing the MAC are the following centers:

Akron senior LaVonne Gauthney
Bowling Green senior Tim McAuliffe
Buffalo senior James O'Hagan
Central Michigan senior Austin Doan
Eastern Michigan junior Dakota Tallman
Kent State senior Nathan Puthoff
Miami sophomore Danny Godlevske
Northern Illinois junior Luke Shively
Ohio senior Jake Pruehs
Western Michigan junior John Keenoy

While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these three prestigious teams to determine a winner: • Walter Camp Foundation (WCF) • Sporting News (SN) • Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

Because the selectors of these three 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 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, January 13, 2018.

The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.9 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $130 million for the fight against cystic fibrosis.

Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-American center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients,

Sure, the pessimist in you could take the above list and think it’s an Oprah-esque “You get a watchlist nod, you get a watchlist nod, you get a watchlist nod” or you can choose to be optimistic and hope that the national nods to a MAC member institution marks good things to come for the coming year. I’m going with that. But man, I do love Oprah.