The Outland Trophy honors the nation's most outstanding interior lineman, including tackles — on both sides of the ball — guards, and centers. The watch list has 75 players who play those positions.
The Longhorns are no stranger to the Outland Trophy, with three Texas players taking it home for the program, including Brad Shearer in 1977, Tommy Nobis in 1965 and Scott Appleton in 1963. Three other Longhorns have finished as finalists, including Justin Blalock in 2006, Leonard Davis in 2000 and Dan Neil in 1996.
Hopkins, who earned a spot on the offensive line as a true freshman in 2010, was a second-team All-Big 12 selection a year ago. The former prep All-American has played in 37 games and started the last 29 games he's played in, including 13 starts at right tackle before shifting to his more natural left guard position for his past 16 starts.
Walters redshirted his first year on campus in 2009, but has been a mainstay on the Longhorn line ever since, starting the past 38 games at right tackle, the longest consecutive starts streak on the current Texas team. He has been an honorable mention All-Big 12 player each of the last two seasons. Like Hopkins, he was a prep All-American who found his way onto the field early on.
Together, the duo are expected to form the guard core of an offensive line that helped Texas put up 35.7 points and 434.6 yards per game a year ago, allowing 4.1 tackles for loss per game (No. 3 in FBS) and 1.23 sacks per game (22nd in FBS).
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists, all of whom are part of the FWAA All-America Team.