May 20, 2011
WACO, Texas – Baylor senior center Philip Blake has been named to the 42-man 2011 Rimington Trophy spring watch list, released by the trophy’s selection committee. The 12-year-old award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate center in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
Blake is the latest of Baylor’s recent All-America candidates on an offensive line that has produced 2009 NFL No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith, 2010 third-round draftee and 15-game game rookie center starter J.D. Walton and 2011 NFL first-round selection Danny Watkins. The Toronto, Ontario, native was selected 23rd overall in the 2011 Canadian Football League (CFL) Canadian Draft by the Montreal Alouettes. He is expected to anchor Baylor’s line for an offense returning eight starters from its record-setting 2010 edition (set 55 offensive school records). Blake will snap for 2011 Heisman candidate QB Robert Griffin III.
An honorable mention All-Big 12 center in 2010, he has started all 25 games in his Baylor career – the longest active streak on the team. He moved to center during 2010 spring drills, replacing current Denver Broncos center J.D. Walton, after starting all 12 games at right tackle in 2009. He anchored Baylor’s offensive line that ranked third in the Big 12 and 24th nationally in rushing (194.6 yards-per-game) and fourth in the conference in sacks against (1.54 per game) in 2010. He totaled 82 knockdowns on the season and received a coach’s grade of 81 percent or higher in 11 of 13 games.
Blake played his freshman season at Tyler (Texas) Junior College in 2008, earning second-team All-SWJCFC honors on the offensive line. He is one of three Big 12 student-athletes on the watch list, joining Oklahoma State’s Grant Garner and Kansas’ Jeremiah Hatch.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be selected by determining the consensus All-America center pick from four existing All-America teams: American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The Rimington Trophy presented will be held Jan. 14, 2012, at Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb.
The trophy is presented by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Past recipients include Nebraska’s Dominic Raiola, Ohio State’s LeCharles Bentley, Miami’s Brett Romberg, Virginia Tech’s Jake Grove, co-winners Michigan’s David Baas and LSU’s Ben Wilkerson, Minnesota’s Greg Eslinger, West Virginia’s Dan Mozes, Arkansas’ Jonathan Luigs, Penn State’s A.Q. Shipley, Florida’s Maurkice Pouncey and TCU’s Jake Kirkpatrick.