Tarell Basham, fresh off an impressive freshman campaign in which at times he looked like the best defensive player on the field for the Ohio Bobcats, is ready to haul in some accolades. The budding star has been named to a watch list for the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Defensive Lineman Trophy, along with 39 other defensive lineman.
Last year, CFPA honored Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State with its award for defensive linemen. Others to claim the award include Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina), Alex Okafor (Texas), Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), Vinny Curry (Marshall), Melvin Ingram (South Carolina), Sam Acho (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), and Brandon Graham (Michigan).
Notice the lack of MACletes who are winners of the award for D-lineman? Basham looks to change that by carrying much of the the load for a young Ohio defensive line. Antwan Crutcher will provide much assistance, but is a different type of down lineman for the Bobcats.
The organization, which declares itself to have "college football's most scientifically rigorous conferments" maintains that its, "recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams."
Basham was named to the Football Writers Association of America All-Freshman team after his standout freshman campaign, so new accolades are no surprise. This CFPA is one of many to come, but don't mean much unless Basham can avoid a sophomore slump and lead the Ohio defense in 2014.