Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Brown, Hart earn spots on preseason watch list for Outland Trophy

DALLAS — UTSA junior defensive lineman Brandon Brown and senior offensive lineman Makai Hart have earned spots on the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of American (FWAA) announced on Tuesday.
Brown and Hart are two of 91 players, including eight from the American Athletic Conference, named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's best interior lineman.
Brown collected first-team All-Conference USA honors in 2022 after starting all 14 games. A product of Katy Morton Ranch High School, he posted 21 total tackles, 11 solo stops, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. 
Brown transferred to UTSA from Tulane prior to the 2021 campaign and earned honorable mention all-conference and C-USA All-Freshman Team accolades. He saw action in all 14 games and drew starts in seven, registering 23 total tackles, nine solo stops, three tackles for loss, three pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Hart has started 22 games for the Roadrunners since arriving in San Antonio prior to the 2020 season. A two-time all-conference performer, he helped the offensive line pave the way for back-to-back All-America campaigns by Sincere McCormick, who topped 1,400 rushing yards each year.
Hart garnered second-team all-league accolades in 2020 after appearing in the final games with eight starts at right tackle. The Clinton, Iowa, native did not allow a hit on the quarterback and surrendered just two sacks in 312 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF).
In 2021, Hart committed only one penalty and allowed just four sacks and one hit on the quarterback in 699 snaps per PFF en route to honorable mention all-conference recognition. 
Last season, he started the season opener versus Houston but was injured, and then came back for the WKU contest before suffering a season-ending injury.
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.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. For the first time, the FWAA will announce an Outland Trophy National Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week's honored player will be added at that time.
The recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Nebraska, on Jan. 10, 2024.
The Outland Trophy, celebrating 78 years since its founding, is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.
Under the direction of two-time conference coach of the year Jeff Traylor, the Roadrunners are coming off an 11-3 campaign that saw them capture their second straight Conference USA crown and play in a bowl game for the third year in a row. UTSA has been ranked in the top 25 in each of the last two seasons and boasts a combined 23 wins over that span, the fourth-best total among all FBS teams behind only Georgia (29), Michigan (25) and Alabama (24).
The Roadrunners have been picked to finish second in the AAC Preseason Media Poll and will kick off their 13th season of play on Saturday, Sept. 2, when they travel to Houston to face the Cougars at 6 p.m. at TDECU Stadium. 
UTSA will face Texas State for the home opener at 2:30 p.m. the following Saturday at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners will host Army at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, UAB on Oct. 14, East Carolina on Oct. 28, Rice on Nov. 11 and South Florida at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.
Season and single-game tickets are on sale now by calling 210-458-UTSA (8872) or visiting