Senior OT Jonathan Scott and DT Rod Wright are candidates for the Outland Trophy honoring the nations top interior lineman, while senior SS Michael Huff has been named to the 2005 Thorpe Award watch list recognizing college footballs top defensive back, it was announced Wednesday.
A preseason first-team All-American, Wright has already been named to preseason watch lists for the 2005 Lombardi Award (nations top lineman), Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player) and Nagurski Trophy (national defensive player of the year). He earned second-team All-America honors from The Sporting News and was a first-team All-Big 12 performer last season. Wright is a fourth-year starter who has posted 181 tackles, 13 sacks, 28 TFLs, 52 QB pressures and forced five fumbles in 37 career games (32 starts).
Scott is a fourth-year starter who is a preseason first-team All-American. A starter in the last 31 straight games, he earned second-team All-America (Associated Press and Sports Illustrated) and first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2004. Scott anchors what head coach Mack Brown has said will be the best offensive line he has fielded during his eight-year Texas tenure.
A preseason second-team All-American, Huff joins Wright on the Nagurski Trophy watch list. Four of his six interceptions have been returned for touchdowns, giving him the UT record for interception returns for a TD. He needs one more to match an NCAA record. He has played in 38 career games and started 37, including 12 starts in 2004 when he was named first-team All-Big 12. Huff is a fourth-year starter who has recorded 209 tackles, 16 TFLs, 30 PBUs and six interceptions in his career.
The Outland Trophy has been awarded to the best interior offensive or defensive lineman in college football since 1946. The winner is selected by the Football Writers Association of America All-America Committee, which selects the association's 25-man team and picks three Outland Trophy finalists. Three Longhorns have been awarded the Outland Trophy: Scott Appleton in 1963, Tommy Nobis in 1965 and Brad Shearer in 1977.
The Thorpe Award watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists the first Monday in November and then to three finalists the Monday before Thanksgiving. The Thorpe Award is named for Jim Thorpe, an all-around athlete who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was a top defensive back.
The Outland Trophy and the Thorpe Award announcement will be on Dec. 8 in Orlando, Fla., on the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show.