Dec. 4, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama center Antoine Caldwell was selected as one of six finalists for the 2008 Rimington Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top center, Thursday by the Boomer Esiason Foundation.
“It’s huge to be a finalist for the Rimington (Trophy),” Caldwell said. “This is one of the reasons you put in all of the hard work in the offseason. It means a lot that I can leave here and still know that I have left behind a little bit of a legacy, and know that I accomplished something special. I also want to thank my teammates for their efforts because none of the individual awards can be accomplished without everyone working as a team.”
Caldwell has been a centerpiece in one of the best offensive lines in college football this season. The senior from Montgomery, Ala., is a first-team All-American by the America Football Coaches Association and has helped Alabama average 201.5 yards rushing per game, which ranks 22nd nationally. He has also provided time for quarterback John Parker Wilson to rank fourth in the SEC in passing efficiency.
Caldwell has been honored by the Alabama coaching staff as an offensive player of the week five times this season and was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following the Tide’s 36-0 shutout of Auburn. A four-year starter for the Crimson Tide, Caldwell has started 46 career games.
Joining Caldwell as finalists are: Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas; Alex Mack, California; A.Q. Shipley, Penn State; Max Unger, Oregon; Eric Wood, Louisville.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be announced at The Home Depot/ESPNU College Football Awards show, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla., on ESPN Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.
The winner of the Rimington Trophy is selected by determining the consensus All-American center pick from four existing All-America teams. While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these four prestigious teams to determine a winner: American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); Walter Camp Foundation (WCF); Sporting News (SN); Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Because the selectors of these four All-America teams can place centers in a "mix" of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11-man first teams can often have two centers. The Rimington Trophy committee's policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the four All-America teams. The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy committee.
About the Rimington Trophy
The nine-year old trophy is presented by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Esiason created his foundation in 1993 to support research and treatment of cystic fibrosis. Esiason and Dave Rimington were teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals from 1984-87. Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982 during which he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's premiere college interior lineman.