Like the Maxwell Selection Committee, the Football Writers Association of America holds many Duck players in high regard. The Ducks have two players nominated for the Nagurski trophy and two nominated for the Outland Trophy.
Tyler Johnstone and Hroniss Grasu were nominated for the Outland Trophy, which is handed out to the most outstanding interior lineman in college football. Grasu has started 27 consecutive games for the Ducks and received first team all Pac-12 honors in 2012. Both Grasu and Johnstone have been named to the freshman all-American team. The duo were keys to a rushing attack that finished first in the nation in yards per attempt and fourth in the nation in yards last season.
Terrence Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu were named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list, which is given to the top defensive player in the nation. The Ducks are almost a lock to improve on their pass defense ranking of 61st last season and could potentially have one of the best secondaries in the nation thanks to these two top flight corners.
Although awards watch lists are purely speculative, it’s good to know that college football experts have the same high expectations for our Ducks that we do.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Cline