(Photo by BYU Photo)
TYLER, Texas – BYU offensive lineman Tejan Koroma was named to the the fifth annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List announced today at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce East Texas Kick-Off luncheon.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals. In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year college.
A 6-foot, 290-pound senior from Allen, Texas, Koroma was graded as one of the top four centers in college football in 2016 by Pro Football Focus. Koroma has started every game he has played for the Cougars with 38 starts over his first three seasons. He was the only true freshman center in FBS Division I to start all 13 games at center in 2014, helping propel the Cougar offense to 37.1 points per game, No. 15 in the nation. Koroma was named a freshman All-American by the FWAA, ESPN, 247Sports, Sporting News and Phil Steele following the 2014 season. Last year he anchored a BYU offensive line that helped Jamaal Williams rank No. 5 nationally in rushing yards per game while becoming the Cougars' all-time rushing leader. Koroma has also been named to the 2017 Rimington Trophy and Outland Tropy watch lists.
The watch list announced today will be narrowed to up to 16 semifinalists in November and then up to five finalists in December. They will be selected by broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans, and the previous winner. The finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards Banquet.
This year's watch list includes:
45 players from 12 different conferences including two independents (ACC, AAC, Big Ten, Big 12, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Pac 12, SEC, Sunbelt)
Players representing Universities from 21 different states and 39 schools
Wide receivers lead the nominations with 13, followed by running backs (12), quarterbacks (10), centers (4), tailbacks (2), offensive guards (2), tight ends (1) and offensive tackle (1)
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award was announced in 2012 by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler.
“We are fortunate to have a celebrity who exhibits the impeccable virtues that define this award. In addition to being a well-known sports figure, Earl also earned a college degree, married his high school sweetheart, raised two successful sons and still supports the community where he grew up,” said Cindy Smoak, Vice President, SPORTyler.
Earl Campbell graduated from John Tyler High School in Tyler before joining the Texas Longhorns under legendary Coach Darrell K. Royal. In his senior year, he led the nation with 1744 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, going on to win the Longhorns’ first Heisman Trophy.
He was subsequently drafted by the Houston Oilers where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1978 and went on to lead the NFL in rushing 3 times. Campbell earned NFL MVP in 1979 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He now resides in Austin.
“All my life, all I wanted to do was be an athlete. I kept God in my life and surrounded myself with good people. I am humbled by this award named in my honor,” said Campbell.
For more information about The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award go to www.earlcampbellaward.com.