Carey Named to Outland Trophy Watch List

University of Miami senior offensive lineman Vernon Carey has been named a preseason candidate for the 2003 Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) recently announced. The award, given since 1946, is awarded annually to the outstanding interior lineman in college football.

Carey, a senior from Miami (Northwestern HS) is among 36 preseason candidates for the award and will try to become the third Hurricane to win the prestigious honor. Defensive tackle Russell Maryland was the first University of Miami player to win the coveted award in 1990. Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie joined Maryland on the impressive list of honorees by winning the award in 2001. The winner of the Outland Trophy will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 11, in Orlando as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show from the Atlantic Dance Hall on The Boardwalk at Walt Disney World. The actual presentation of the Outland Trophy by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee will take place at a banquet in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 8, 2004.

Carey produced an excellent season in 2002 as the starter at right tackle, reaching his vast potential as an offensive lineman. A gifted athlete who can play guard or tackle, Carey appears to have found a home at tackle and has developed into a devastating run blocker. He was a dominant force at right tackle last season when he led the team in pancake blocks with 42 and earned offensive most valuable player honors from the coaching staff for performances against Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh. Only Heisman Trophy finalist Willis McGahee earned as many MVP honors from the UM coaching staff last season. As a pass protector, Carey allowed only two quarterback sacks in his first season as a full-time starter and keyed an offensive line that set the pace for another record-breaking offensive season for the Hurricanes.

"Vernon has phenomenal athletic ability and continues to develop into a finisher," said assistant head coach and offensive line coach Art Kehoe. "He's a tremendous offensive lineman, but the things I like most about Vernon are the fact that he's developed so much while handling the responsibilities of earning his second undergraduate degree and fatherhood. He may be the best 'in and up' gap blocker I've ever seen. He's an excellent power gap blocker."

Washington State's Rien Long won the 2002 Outland Trophy, leading his team to the Pac-10 championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

The Outland Trophy annually goes to the nation's top interior lineman - tackles, centers, guards on offense or defense are eligible - in college football. The FWAA All-America Committee selects the winner with input from the membership. Presented since 1946, the Outland is the third oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

The award is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the century. Dr. Outland established the award in 1946, a year before his death, with the help of the FWAA. He believed it was important for lineman to receive greater recognition.

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