DALLAS — BYU linemen Travis Tuiloma and Ului Lapuaho were both named to the 2016 Outland Trophy Watch List on Friday by the The Football Writers Association of America. The Outland Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tuiloma is a second-time watch list honoree after earning a spot on the 2015 watch list. He has played in 35 career games entering the 2016 season, constantly taking up multiple blockers as an anchor on the defensive line in the middle. He had a career-best nine tackles against Utah State in 2015, including one sack.
Offensively, Lapuaho has played both the guard and tackle positions and has started 18 of 21 games played at BYU. In 2015, he helped the Cougar offense to the most passing yards since 2008 with 3,854 yards.
BYU has had two Outland Trophy winners in the past. Defensive lineman Jason Buck won the award in 1986 and offensive lineman Mohammed Elewonibi in 1989.
Tuiloma and Lapuaho are among 70 standout interior linemen from all 10 FBS conferences represented. The SEC (12) led all conferences, followed by the Big Ten (11), ACC (10), Pac-12 (10), Big 12 (6), American Athletic (4), Conference USA (4), Independents (4), Mountain West (4), Mid-American (3) and Sun Belt (2).
The list includes 22 offensive tackles, 20 offensive guards, 17 defensive tackles and 11 centers. It can be trimmed or enlarged during the regular season as players emerge or drop out of play.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
The list will be trimmed to six or seven semifinalists on Thurs., Nov. 17. Five days later, three Outland Trophy finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner of the 71st Outland Trophy – named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century – will be announced on live on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thurs., Dec. 8. For the second straight year, the show will air from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 11, 2017, in Omaha, Neb. This year, Oklahoma’s Greg Roberts, the 1978 Outland Trophy winner, will be honored and presented an Outland Trophy, which was not given in the era in which he won the award. In addition, former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, will receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the same banquet.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.ncfaa.org to learn more.