Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Marcus McNeill Named Finalist For Outland Trophy

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeill was named today as one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football. McNeill joins Minnesota center Greg Eslinger and Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata as finalists for the award.

The winner of the Outland Trophy will be announced on Dec. 8 during the ESPN College Football Awards Show from Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

McNeill, a 6-9, 338-pound senior, has been the mainstay of the Tigers' offensive line, starting 38 games in his career. He has not allowed a sack in 41 consecutive games, dating back to his freshman season. McNeill has paved the way for Auburn's offense, which averages SEC bests of 34.2 points and 425.6 yards per game, including 202.7 yards per game on the ground.

McNeill is bidding to become the third Auburn player to win the Outland Trophy, joining Zeke Smith in 1958 and Tracy Rocker in 1988.

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the Football Writers Association since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, a lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The Outland Trophy is the third oldest award in major college football after the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

The official award presentation will be Jan. 12 in Omaha, Neb., at a banquet sponsored by the Omaha Sports Committee and First Data Corporation. Former USC lineman Ron Yary, the 1967 Outland Trophy winner, is expected to receive his trophy there.

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