University of Minnesota offensive linemen Greg Eslinger and Mark Setterstrom are among the 36 football student-athletes named to the 2005 Outland Trophy Watch List as announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The Outland Trophy has annually been awarded to the best interior offensive or defensive lineman in college football since 1946. The trophy announcement will be on Dec. 8 as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show. The trophy presentation is set for Jan. 12, 2006, in Omaha, Neb.
Eslinger and Setterstrom are two of five student-athletes from the Big Ten Conference named to the watch list, joining Matt Lentz and Gabe Watson of Michigan and Ohio State's Nick Mangold. It also marks the first time in school history that two Gophers have been named to the watch list in the same year.
Eslinger, a senior center from Bismarck, N.D., was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media last season for the second consecutive time, becoming only the third Gopher since 1963 to be named first-team all-league on both teams in consecutive seasons. He was also named to the FWAA and the SI.com All-America Teams, in addition to being a finalist for the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman or linebacker. In 2003, Eslinger joined former Gopher Ben Hamilton as the second of two All-American centers coached by Glen Mason when the Association Press selected him as a third-team All-American.
Setterstrom, a senior left guard from Northfield, Minn., earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition from the media and was a second-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches in 2004. He was named the team's Butch Nash Award winner, which is given for competitiveness both on the field and in the classroom. Setterstrom was also named to the Rivals.com All-America Team.
The duo has started all 38 games together during their careers, dating back to the 2002 season when both started the first game of their true freshmen seasons. Since that time, the Gopher offense has ranked among the best in the country. Last year the Gophers averaged 438.3 yards of total offense to rank third in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation, while finishing with the second-highest season average in school history. The team's 256.9 rushing yards per game in 2004 led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally and also represents the second-highest single-season average in school history.
In 2003, Eslinger and Setterstrom anchored an offense that finished first in the Big Ten in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense. The Gophers' 494.6 yards per game of total offense that season ranked fourth nationally while the 6,430 total yards of offensive set a Big Ten record for most yards in a season. The Gophers also finished third in the country that season in rush offense at 292.2 yards per game, which also became the fourth-highest single-season total in conference history at 3,759 yards.
The Gophers begin the 2005 season on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Tulsa. Kickoff for the game is scheduled at 9:15 CST and will be broadcast by ESPN2.
2005 OUTLAND TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Name , School
Jesse Boone, OL Utah
J. B. Closner, Alabama
Daryn Colledge, Boise State
Ryan Cook, New Mexico
Mike Degory, Florida
Greg Eslinger, Minnesota
Steve Fifita, Utah
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia
Orien Harris, Miami (Fla.)
Manase Hopoi, Washington
T. J. Jackson, Auburn
Max Jean-Gilles, Georgia
Davin Joseph, Oklahoma
Jake Kuresa, BYU
Travis Leffew, Louisville
Matt Lentz, Michigan
Dylan Lineberry, North Texas
Josh Linehan, Oregon State
Grayling Love, Arizona State
Jesse Mahelona, Tennessee
Nick Mangold, Ohio State
Garrett McIntyre, Fresno State
Marcus McNeill, Auburn
Dan Mozes, West Virginia
Haloti Ngata, Oregon
Ryan O'Callaghan, California
Marvin Philip, California
Samson Satele, Hawaii
Jonathan Scott, Texas
Mark Setterstrom, Minnesota
Ben Siegert, Oregon State
Gabe Watson, Michigan
Andrew Whitworth, LSU
Jon Wilson, Air Force
Eric Winston, Miami (Fla.)
Rodrique Wright, Texas
Eslinger, Setterstrom Named To Outland Watch List
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