Outland Trophy is given annually to college football’s top lineman
Ole Miss football sophomore offensive tackle Micah Pettus has been named to the Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List, as announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Pettus is one of 91 linemen from both sides of the ball and one of 17 total from the SEC to be named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which celebrates its 78th anniversary in 2023. The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award, given annually to the best lineman in college football since 1946.
Pettus, who has also already been named a fourth-team Preseason All-American by Phil Steele as well as a Preseason All-SEC selection by both Phil Steele (second team) and Athlon (fourth team), is coming off a terrific freshman season in 2022. The Madison, Alabama native helped anchor an Ole Miss offensive line that paved the way for the Rebels’ SEC leading and FBS No. 3 rushing attack at 256.6 yards per game. The Rebels also shattered the school record in total rushing yards (3,336) that was previously set in 1957.
Pettus played in all 13 games for the Rebels as a freshman in 2022, starting each of the last nine at right tackle en route to being named a third-team Freshman All-American by CFN. Pettus was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week in his first career start against No. 7 Kentucky, grading out at 94 percent and helping lead the Rebels to a 22-19 Homecoming victory over the Wildcats.
The recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Nebraska, on Jan. 10, 2024.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the season. For the first time, the FWAA will announce an Outland Trophy National Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.