Greg Eslinger Wins Rimington Trophy

Minnesota senior center Greg Eslinger, of Bismark, North Dakota was named the unanimous recipient of the Dave Rimington Trophy today. Eslinger was notified with a personal visit from Rimington Trophy representatives in Orlando, Florida as he prepared for the Home Depot College Football Awards television show. Eslinger will be recognized as the nation's most outstanding center at the annual Dave Rimington Trophy awards banquet to be held at the Rococo Theater, in Lincoln, Nebraska, January 7th.

This year's Rimington Trophy Gala will feature two keynote speakers, including St. John's University legendary coach John Gagliardi and 1973 Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti from Penn State University.

When asked how he felt about winning the Rimington Trophy, Eslinger responded "This is an amazing honor and it's a great feeling. I'm just a guy from a small town in North Dakota and all I wanted to do coming out of high school was go to Minnesota and start. This award is special because it is only for centers, and we often go unrecognized. But, I can't say anything without mentioning my teammates. There is no such thing as an individual effort from an offensive linemen. We were great as a unit all year long, and without them I wouldn't have won this award."

Eslinger, 6'3", 285 lbs., was the unanimous first-team center on the four All-America teams used to select the winner of the Rimington Trophy, which includes the American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association, The Sporting News and Walter Camp All-America Teams.

"Greg and the entire Minnesota offensive line have had a tremendous season and we are honored to name him the winner of the 2005 Rimington Trophy. His presence on the field led Minnesota to the number two rushing offense in the nation and number five overall. You can't have that kind of offensive output without a strong player at the center position. Eslinger adds to the distinguished list of past winners and shares the leadership qualities, skill, power and intelligence it takes to be named college football's top center. Congratulations to all the watch list candidates, finalists and of course to Greg," added Dave Rimington.

In addition, the Rimington Trophy was approved today for regular membership in the National College Football Awards Association. The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of major collegiate football awards. The purpose of the NCFAA is to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of college football's various awards. The NCFAA also encourages professionalism and the highest standards possible for the administration of college football awards and the selection of their winners.

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