Leonard added to Dave Rimington Trophy watch list on Tuesday
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Nate Leonard was added to the 2014 Dave Rimington Trophy watch list, the Rimington Trophy committee announced on Tuesday. The award is presented annually to the most outstanding center in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Leonard, the only Roadrunner to start all 34 games in program history, is coming off a junior campaign that saw him record a team-leading 70 knockdown blocks, including a career-high 10 against Rice (Oct. 12). The 6-foot, 280-pounder from McKinney also graded out at 82 percent and was a key part of an offensive line that did not commit a holding penalty. His blocking helped the UTSA offense average 25.6 points, 417.8 total yards (175.4 rush/242.4 pass), 21.9 first downs and 32:24 possession time per contest.
In the classroom, Leonard earned second-team Capital One Academic All-America accolades (first player in program history to be named an Academic All-American) and he also was a first-team Academic All-District VII selection for the second consecutive season.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be selected by determining the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America Teams. While more than a dozen All-America football teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee only will use the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America teams to determine the winner.
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 most second-team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the 10-member Rimington Trophy committee.
Nebraska's Dominic Raiola was the inaugural winner in 2000 and other previous honorees include Ohio State's LeCharles Bentley (2001), Miami (Fla.)'s Brett Romberg (2002), Virginia Tech's Jake Grove (2003), Michigan's David Bass and LSU's Ben Wilkerson (2004), Minnesota's Greg Eslinger (2005), West Virginia's Dan Mozes (2006), Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs (2007), Penn State's A. Q. Shipley (2008), Florida's Maurkice Pouncey (2009), TCU's Jake Kirkpatrick (2010), Michigan's David Molk (2011), Alabama's Barrett Jones (2012) and Florida State's Bryan Stork (2013).
Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in both 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.
It marks the second straight year that a Roadrunner has been named to a national award watch list, as quarterback Eric Soza was a Manning Award candidate and offensive guard Scott Inskeep landed on the Lombardi Award preseason list last fall. UTSA will begin its fourth campaign of play this fall and second as a member of Conference USA.
It also is the second honor for Leonard this summer, as Athlon Sports tabbed him preseason second-team All-C-USA in its annual college football preview last month.
The Roadrunners, 7-5 overall and 6-2 in league play a year ago, will open their 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 29, at Houston. The first-ever game at the brand new Houston Football Stadium will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally on ESPNU.