UK Football Notebook: Smith, Trevathan, Warford Make Watch Lists

July 13, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Kentucky starting center Matt Smith has been named to the Rimington Trophy 2011 watch list, which is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I-A college football, the Rimington Trophy Committee announced Wednesday.

Smith, a native of Louisville, Ky., played well in his first season as the starting center in 2010, getting the starting nod in all 13 games. The 6-foot-4, 297-pound junior earned the job after winning the center battle in fall camp with his consistent play.

Smith’s blocking helped pave the way for one of the most productive offenses in school history, averaging 31.2 points and 427.8 yards per game.   He helped enable the success of quarterback Mike Hartline, who finished his career as the No. 4 passer in school history; tailback Derrick Locke, the No. 6 rusher in school history; and All-America wide receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb, who set the UK career touchdown record and broke the SEC season record for all-purpose yardage.

The Rimington Trophy committee with use four prestigious All-American teams, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America to determine the winner of the 2011 Rimington Trophy. 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.

Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over two-million dollars for its benefactor, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The twelve-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised 86-million dollars for cystic fibrosis research.

Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-American center at the University of 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.

Danny Trevathan, Larry Warford named to 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List

Senior linebacker Danny Trevathan and junior offensive lineman Larry Warford could be the winner of the 42nd Rotary Lombardi Award, which is given annually to college football’s best lineman, as both players were named on the 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award Official watch list.

A total of 125 players were named to the watch list, including 18 players from the SEC. This is Trevathan’s fourth watch list honor of the summer, while Warford was also named to the Outland Trophy watch list last week.

Last season, Trevathan had a breakout year for the Wildcats, leading the Southeastern Conference in tackles with 144, averaging 11.1 tackles per game. Trevathan, who earned first-team All-America honors from CollegeFootballNews.com and was a first-team All-SEC choice by multiple selectors, also led UK with 16 tackles for loss and was third in the SEC in that category. The senior had double-digit tackles in 10 games in 2010, including leading UK in tackles in 10 games.

Warford was a key part to UK’s success last season, starting every game and receiving second-team All-SEC honors from multiple selectors. The native of Richmond, Ky., led the team in knockdown blocks with 43 and showed an outstanding ability to block down the field.

Warford’s blocking helped pave the way for one of the most productive offenses in school history, averaging 31.2 points and 427.8 yards per game.   He helped enable the success of quarterback Mike Hartline, who finished his career as the No. 4 passer in school history; tailback Derrick Locke, the No. 6 rusher in school history; and All-America wide receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb, who set the UK career touchdown record and broke the SEC season record for all-purpose yardage.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.

The candidates earned a place on the official watch list by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first team last season as selected by the conference’s head coaches, by being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season, or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.

The Rotary Lombardi Award watch list, intended as a reference tool for the selection committee, will be periodically updated and revised up to the first round of voting to determine the 12 semifinalists for 2011.
Last year’s Rotary Lombardi Award winner, Nick Fairley (Auburn), was drafted by the Detroit Lions and finalist Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both in the first round of the NFL Draft.

The 42nd Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 6-7, 2011 at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas.