BOISE, Idaho Boise State University sophomore Thomas Byrd has been named to the Rimington Trophy 2009 Spring Watch List. The award is given to the most outstanding college offensive center in NCAA Bowl Subdivision football.
Byrd (San Pablo, Calif.) was the starting center for the Broncos as a freshman for an offense that averaged 288.5 yards per game passing, 152.3 yards rushing, and gave up the fewest sacks (13) in the Western Athletic Conference. His skills on the field helped pave the way for an offense that tied for first in the WAC in scoring (37.6 points per game), first in third-down conversions (43.2 percent) and was second in total offense (440.8 ypg), first downs (285) and fourth-down conversions (69.2 percent).
In all, there are 44 players on the Watch List. While more than a dozen All-America football teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these four prestigious teams to determine a winner: American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America.
Because the selectors of these four All-America teams can place Centers in a "mix" of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11-man first teams can often have two Centers. The Rimington Trophy committee counts all players that play primarily the Center position for their respective teams as Centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the four All American teams.
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 Rimington Trophy committee.
The winner will be honored at Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 16, 2009.
The ten-year old trophy is presented by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Past recipients include Nebraska 's Dominic Raiola, Ohio State 's LeCharles Bentley, Miami 's Brett Romberg, Virginia Tech's Jake Grove, co-winners Michigan 's David Baas and LSU's Ben Wilkerson, Minnesota 's Greg Eslinger, West Virginia 's Dan Mozes, Arkansas ’ Jonathan Luigs, and Penn State's A.Q. Shipley. Since its inception the Rimington Trophy Award has raised over $1.3 million for the award's benefactor, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation that to date has raised over $73 milllion for CF Research.
Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.
A complete list of those named to the 2009 Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List can be found at, www.rimingtontrophy.com.