ESPN releases Top 3 finalists for Outland Trophy for best interior lineman
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ESPN releases Top 3 finalists for Outland Trophy for best interior lineman

ESPN releases Top 3 finalists for Outland Trophy for best interior lineman Jordan Davis Ikem Ikwonu Tyler Linderbaum
Todd Kirkland via Getty Images

With one game left to play, ESPN released the names of the three finalists for the Outland Trophy.

Awarded yearly, the Outland Trophy is the highest honored bestowed to players in the middle of the trenches.

This year, of the six semifinalists, there was only one defensive player – Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. He stays on the list for the final round, along with Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum and NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu.

The University of Alabama has taken home the Outland Trophy in three of the last five years. Offensive tackle Cam Robinson won in 2016, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams won in 2018 and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood won in 2020.

The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award. Outland was an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s.

This year’s awards show will air on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN.

2021 Outland Trophy Finalists

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia: Davis is the most dominant defensive tackle in college football for top-ranked Georgia (11-0). The Bulldogs own the nation’s second-best total defense giving up 247 yards per game. Davis anchors the interior line for the nation’s second-best rushing defense (78.1 ypg). Georgia is the national scoring defense leader. They lead by more than a touchdown and have not given up more than 17 points in any game. Davis also expanded his resume with a rushing touchdown for Georgia on Saturday.

Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State: Ekwonu has more than 56 pancake blocks and 18 knockdowns for the Wolfpack (8-3). He has earned the ACC Offensive Line Player of the Week twice this season.

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa: Linderbaum has started all 32 career games after playing on the defensive line as a true freshman. This season, he has a 94.8 offensive grade on PFF, the best for a center since 2014.