Dec. 4, 2009
-- Baylor center J.D. Walton
is one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the outstanding center in college football, the Boomer Esiason Foundation announced Friday.
Walton, the No. 1-rated NFL Draft prospect at the center position among seniors by ESPN's Mel Kiper, recorded 112 knockdowns in 12 games this season (9.3 per game). He earned a coach's grade of 90 percent or higher in 9 of 12 games with no grade lower than 86 percent.
The senior from Allen, Texas, earned All-Big 12 honors this week and has been invited to the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine games. Walton, on the 2008 Rimington Trophy watch list, was also on watch lists for this year's Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award.
Walton finished his career with 36 consecutive starts at Baylor after transferring from Arizona State in 2006. He was selected honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2008 by the Associated Press after anchoring an offensive line that generated 2,349 rushing yards, the most at Baylor since 1981, as well as 29 rushing touchdowns.
Joining Walton as finalists for the Rimington Trophy are John Estes of Hawaii, Chris Hall of Texas, Jake Kirkpatrick of TCU, Maurkice Pouncey of Florida and Matthew Tennant of Boston College.
The trophy's winner is determined by a consensus of most first-team votes among four All-America teams: American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America.
The winner will be announced during the ESPNU/Home Depot College Football Awards show, which airs live on ESPN Thursday, Dec. 10, and honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 16, 2010.
The 10-year-old award 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, and Penn State's A.Q. Shipley. Since its inception the Rimington Trophy Award has raised over $1.3 million for the award's benefactor, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation that to date has raised over $73 milllion for CF Research.