The award is given to the best interior lineman in college football
LEXINGTON – July 26, 2022
Junior center Eli Cox has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2022 Outland Trophy it was announced Wednesday by The Football Writers Association of America. Cox is one of 89 returning standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents.
Cox, a native of Nicholasville, Kentucky, was named a midseason All-American by ESPN and the Associated Press last year after starting at right guard in the first nine games. He was named SEC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week after helping the Wildcats pile up 330 rushing yards in the 42-21 win over LSU. Against Missouri, he recovered a fumble in the end zone that proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the 35-28 win over the Tigers.
Cox’s season was cut short after suffering an injury to his left hand vs. Tennessee that required surgery. He returned to play in the spring in his new position at center and has emerged as one of the leaders of the Big Blue Wall.
For the second straight year, Cox will represent Kentucky football on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He was also elected to the Southeastern Conference Football Leadership Council. Cox graduated in May of 2022 with a degree in integrated strategic communication with a business minor and is currently working on a second degree in media arts studies.
The recipient of the 2022 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Thurs., Dec. 8. 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, Neb., on Jan. 11, 2023.
Tackles, guards and centers are eligible for consideration; Candidates may be added or removed during the season
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.
The Outland Trophy 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.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. The NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit NCFAA.org for more information.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards are presenting their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2022 preseason watch list calendar:
• Wed., July 27: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
• Thurs., July 28: Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
• Fri., July 29: Walter Camp Award
• Mon., Aug. 1: Bednarik Award
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or [email protected].