New York, N.Y. - The Rimington Trophy Committee announced its three 2016 finalists for the most outstanding center in college football, Pat Elflein, Ohio State, Tyler Orlosky
, West Virginia and Ethan Pocic, LSU.
is the best center in the country," West Virginia Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "He is smart, really smart. He understands things. I talk to him like he’s another coach. We have a great relationship, and we work well together. What he says matters, because he’s so experienced, and he studies film, he directs people and he knows how it’s supposed to look. He’s a leader, and the comfort of running the huddle and getting people together in a huddle and breaking that thing and getting up in the snap and all of that stuff that you really don’t have to worry about, he just makes sure it happens.”
Pat Elflein, The Ohio State University
Ohio State senior Pat Elflein was named the Big Ten Conference’s Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year this season and was a first-team all-Big Ten choice for the third consecutive year. In addition to being named a finalist forthe Rimington Trophy, Elflein is a finalist for the Outland Trophy and one of 20 players under consideration for the Lombardi Award. A team captain and astarter in 40 consecutive games, Elflein and his commanding presence has anchored an Ohio State offensive line that ranks ninth nationally in rushing at 258.3 yards per game and is one of three units selected as finalists for the Joe Moore Offensive Line of the Year Award.
, two-time team captain and Midseason All-American (USA Today and FoxSports.com) at West Virginia University, has played 49 career games and started 41, all at the center position. While grading out at 90% or higher every game for the past two years, he has helped lead West Virginia’s offense to average 506.9 yards of total offense per game – which puts them at number 12 nationally. Off the field, Orlosky excels as well and was named a three-time All- Big 12 Academic team honoree, to the Big 12 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll, WVU’s Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll, and earned the Louis D. Meisel Award for the highest senior GPA on the football team.
Ethan Pocic, LSU
As one of the top offensive linemen in LSU’s history, Ethan Pocic has started all 11 2016 games for the Tigers, 10 at center and one at right tackle. He led all LSU offensive linemen in snaps (680), knockdowns (92), and “great effort” plays (33). Pocic had double-digit knockdown blocks in four games, had a season-high 14 knockdowns in a win over Texas A&M, and gave up just one sack all season. Because of his exemplary play, he earned the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honor three times in games versus Missouri, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. With Pocic at center, the LSU offense averaged 238.1 rushing yards per game and allowed only 18 sacks all season, the second-lowest total in the SEC.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be presented live during the ESPNU Red Carpet Show on Thursday, December 8, 2016, immediately preceding the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show. Both shows, will originate from the College Football Hall
of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy is selected by determining the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams. While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee used these three prestigious teams to determine a winner:
• Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)
• Sporting News (SN)
• Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)
The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, January 14, 2017. To learn more about the Rimington Trophy or to purchase tickets to the event, please visit www.rimingtontrophy.com.