Rimington Watch List Has Tide’s Ryan Kelly

Who is the best center in Alabama football history? Some would say Vaughn Mancha (1944-47), a member of the Hall of Fame. Dwight Stephenson (1977-79) is considered to be the best by many. Lee Roy Jordan (1960-62) is better known as a linebacker, but also played center Barrett Jones won both the Outland Trophy (2011) as the nation’s best lineman and the Rimington (2012) as the top center.

The Rimington has become the standard by which the nation’s top college centers are judged, and this year’s watch list includes Alabama junior Ryan Kelly.

Kelly, 6-5, 296, took over the starting job last year after the graduation of Barrett Jones. Although he missed a few games with injury, he started nine games last year. He has played in 19 games over the past two years. Much like Jones, he is very intelligent and capable of making the important line blocking calls.

The Rimington Trophy Committee has 64 men on its spring watch list. Kelly is one of 11 Southeastern Conference centers on the list.

Final selection will be based on the All-America players as selected by the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News, and Football Writers Association of America.

The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, January 17, 2015.

The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.5 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The fourteen-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $100 million for CF Research.

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 double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.

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