McNeill Finalist For Major Football Honor

Auburn senior tackle Marcus McNeill is one of the finalists for the Outland Trophy.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn, Ala.--Bypassing the NFL for a return to college for his senior season, Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeill has a chance at winning the top college award presented to a lineman.

McNeill is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy Award, which is presented to college football's top interior lineman. A 6-9, 338 senior from Decatur, Ga., McNeill is considered one of the top NFL prospects in the country at his position and his play in 2005 has backed that up. McNeill hasn't allowed a sack since Sept. 18, 2002, a string of 40 games and 38 starts at left tackle.

The Football Writers Association of America has annually selected the winner of the award since 1946. It is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award and will be presented during ESPN's Awards Show on Dec. 8 in Orlando, Fla.

The other finalists are junior defensive tackle Haloti Ngata of Oregon and senior center Greg Elsinger of Minnesota.

The Outland Trophy is named after the late John Outland, a lineman at the University of Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. Outland garnered consensus All-America honors in 1898 at tackle and at back in 1899. Dr. Outland was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

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