May 9, 2008
NEW YORK -- University of Arizona junior (to-be) Blake Kerley has been named to the Rimington Trophy committee's 2008 Spring Watch List for the award which goes annually to the nation's top center.
The list includes the 2007 winner of the Rimington Trophy, Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs. The Trophy has not had a repeat winner in its history.
In all, there are 42 players on the list. A total of seven players represent the Big-12 Conference. The Pac-10 Conference is represented by six players, while the ACC and SEC have five players each on the chart of prospects.
Kerley has started 24 consecutive games since redshirting in 2005 and in 2008 is expected to join junior tackle Eben Britton, senior guard Joe Longacre, sophomore guard Colin Baxter and several other candidates in forming one of the Cats' top units.
Kerley, 6-foot-2, 285, will have to fend off a strong charge for his job from mid-year junior college transfer Herman Hall. On the left side, tackles vying for the fifth top role include senior James Tretheway, junior Adam Grant, junior Phillip Garcia and incoming fall juco recruit J'Marcus Webb.
Those guys plus senior tackle Bill Wachnoz, soph guards Conan Amituanai and Jovon Hayes are among reasons for the optimistic view that the offensive line will be a deep and productive corps for line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and the rest of the offensive staff.
Britton was named to the watch list for the prestigous Outland Trophy last month. The junior right tackle earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2007 and is UA's top player up front on either side of the ball.
Other Pac-10 players named to the Rimington list include Cal senior Alex Mack, Stanford senior Alex Fletcher, USC senior Kris O'Dowd of Tucson, Washington senior Juan Garcia and Washington State junior Kenny Alfred. Mack was a first-team offensive line All-Pac-10 pick last year, while Garcia and Fletcher earned second-team honors.
The Center with the most first-team All-America votes on four different teams (AFCA, Walter Camp, The Sporting News and Football Writers) will be determined the winner of the Rimington Trophy.
The winner will be honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 17, 2009.