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Luke Fortner added to Rimington Trophy watch list

Award given to college football’s most outstanding center
Kentucky guard Luke Fortner (79) celebrates a touchdown to put Kentucky up 35-28 during the...
Kentucky guard Luke Fortner (79) celebrates a touchdown to put Kentucky up 35-28 during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)(Michael Clubb | AP)
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky center Luke Fortner has been added to the Rimington Trophy Watch List, an award given to college football’s most outstanding center.

Fortner, who moved from guard to center at the beginning of 2021 fall camp, has flourished in his new role, having been named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week twice this season.

The 6-foot-6, 297-pounder from Sylvania, Ohio has been a key cog on Kentucky’s offensive line, the “Big Blue Wall,” helping the Wildcats climb to a current No. 12 ranking in the national polls with a 6-1 overall record, including a 4-1 mark in league play.

Overall, Fortner has played in 49 career games with 30 straight starting assignments.

While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these three prestigious teams to determine a winner:

·       Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)

·       Sporting News (SN)

·       Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

Because the selectors of these three All-America teams can place centers in a “mix” of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11-man first teams can often have two centers. The Rimington Trophy committee’s policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the All- America teams.

The center with the most first team votes will determine the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy Committee, provided with data from Pro Football Focus. Since its inception, the award has raised over $4.8 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation.

Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only two-time winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com

The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.

In 1993, Boomer Esiason’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF). Boomer and his wife Cheryl founded the Boomer Esiason Foundation to raise funds and awareness for the cystic fibrosis community. To date, the Foundation has raised over $152 million and works to provide educational and financial resources to help people living with CF in the here and now.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs, digestive system, and reproductive system of about 30,000 Americans by causing a thick build-up of mucus that leads to blockage, inflammation, and infection.