Rimington Trophy Finalists from Oregon, Michigan, and Georgia
Jackson Powers-Johnson, Drake Nugent, and Sedrick Van Pran named the top three Division I collegiate centers in the country
New York, NY – December 4, 2023
The Rimington Trophy Committee proudly announces and congratulates its 2023 finalists for the most outstanding center in college football. They are:
Jackson Powers-Johnson, University of Oregon
In his first season as Oregon’s starting center, Powers-Johnson has been the anchor of a UO offensive line that leads the nation in sacks allowed (5) for the second year in a row. The only center selected as a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, Powers-Johnson leads all FBS centers in pass-blocking grade (91.3), overall grade (83.2) and run-blocking grade (83.1) by Pro Football Focus, and has allowed just one pressure in 471 pass-blocking opportunities. The Draper, Utah, native was named the Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week twice during the regular season, and was a three-time winner of the Joe Moore Award Pancake of the Week. Led by Powers-Johnson, Oregon’s offensive line is No. 1 in the FBS with a 91.3 team pass-blocking grade from PFF.
Drake Nugent, University of Michigan
A first-year Wolverine after joining the program from Stanford, Nugent was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media as he helped the Wolverines achieve a 13-0 record this season. Nugent has started 13 games this season anchoring the U-M offensive line, named a semifinalist unit for the Joe Moore Award. The Wolverines have multiple rushing touchdowns in 11-of-12 games with Nugent in the lineup and has scored 33 rushing touchdowns total across those 12 games, tied for third in the nation. The line supports the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year Blake Corum. Corum is the nation's leading scorer (144 points) and set a single-season rushing touchdowns record at Michigan with his 24 rushing scores this year. In the pass game, the line has allowed just 18 sacks across Nugent's 13 games while protecting the Griese-Brees Big Ten Quarterback of the Year J.J. McCarthy, who passed for 19 touchdowns in that span and ran for three more. The line has allowed 3.38 tackles for loss per game, on average.
Sedrick Van Pran, University of Georgia
Van Pran has started a team-best 43 consecutive games for the two-time defending national champion Bulldogs who have complied a 41-2 record during that three-year stretch. This season, the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week recipient has been named a game captain five times for the 12-0 and top-ranked Bulldogs. Behind Van Pran’s performance and leadership, Georgia’s offense is averaging 38.4 points/game (No. 9 nationally) and is on pace to set school records in both Average Yards Per Play (7.12, No. 7 nationally) and Average Yards Per Game (482.9, No. 8 nationally). First-year starting quarterback Carson Beck is also on a school record pace for Completion Percentage (72 percent, No. 6 nationally) while the Bulldogs are ranked eighth nationally in Sacks Allowed (0.92/g) with Van Pran at center. The Midseason All-American returned this season after being voted the team’s permanent captain as a redshirt sophomore in 2022.
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 be determined 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.
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About the Rimington Trophy
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football. Since its inception, the award has raised over $4.8 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation. The 2023 Rimington Trophy recipient will be honored in at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, NE on January 13, 2024. To learn more about Dave Rimington, the trophy’s namesake, and the event, please 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.
About the Boomer Esiason Foundation
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 $160 million and works to provide educational and financial resources to help people living with CF in the here and now.
About Pro Football Focus
Since 2006, PFF has separated themselves from the pack in their ability to provide game-changing data supported through studying every player, on every play, of every game. In 2014, they began to do so for college football. In 2023, PFF's college analysts, led by Max Chadwick, supported the Rimington Trophy in creating the Watchlist.
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