While many may think the quarterback is the most important man in a high powered offense, the unit wouldn't succeed without the man who anchors the offensive line and snaps the ball to the signal caller.
A center is the leader of the offensive line. He is often one of the most athletic guys on the team but must also one of the smartest. The center has to handle all the offensive line calls. He must pick up blitzes and be able to be the lead communicator of all the linemen.
Southern Methodist University returns a junior to the center position in Mitch Enright. The talented junior who started every game as a sophomore, has earned the honor of being named to the Rimington Watch List which was announced last week.
"What a great honor," Enright told PonyStampede.com last Friday. "I really didn't expect it. We had such a disappointing season last year, winning only one game. Usually those pre-season honors go to guys on teams with a little more success than we had."
While Enright was surprised, he gives praise to the rest of the offensive line unit for his success.
"We have a great group of guys," Enright said. "I'm very excited about the honor. I give a lot of the credit to the entire line."
Enright is also excited about the direction of the team and the attitude adjustment that the new coaching staff has brought to the team this spring.
"We had a great spring," Enright said. "We learned a lot. This offense is very difficult to learn in a few weeks but our new coaches are great teachers. Everyone is very confident about the upcoming season and we are a very confident bunch going into fall camp."
One of the major changes is the new attitude that new head coach June Jones has brought to the team.
"He puts a major emphasis on having fun," Enright said. "He tells how much fun winning is and that is what he has planned for us at SMU. All of our practices are very upbeat, high energy and actually a lot of fun. I see great times ahead for us at SMU."
Another change in philosophy for the offensive line will be how they pass block.
"They are teaching us to be a lot more physical when we pass block," Enright explained. "We are focused on taking one game at a time and winning one game at a time. We feel that we have the talent to be successful this fall, not a year or two down the road."
Enright, a native of Southlake , Texas , started all 12 games at center for SMU in 2007. He was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Football Team, the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and was a winner of a Conference USA Academic Medal.
The Rimington Trophy is awarded annually to the outstanding college offensive center in NCAA Division I-A.
In all, there are 42 players on the Watch List. While more than a dozen All-America football teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these four prestigious teams to determine a winner - American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News and the Football Writers Association of America. The Center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner.
The winner will be honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln , Nebraska on January 17, 2009.