May 22, 2006
Clemson center Dustin Fry has been named to the Spring Watch List of candidates for the 2006 Dave Rimington Trophy. The award is presented each year to the top center in College football and is named after the former Nebraska All-America center.
Fry is the returning starting center for Tommy Bowden’s Tigers. A starter in all 12 games in 2006, he helped Clemson to a number-two ranking in total offense in the ACC last year when he played 820 snaps on offense, more than any other Clemson player. He was a big reason Clemson made a 90-yard total offense improvement over last year, one of the top 10 improvements in college football in 2005.
Fry played the most snaps among Clemson offensive linemen in nine of the 12 games, helping the Tigers to an 8-4 record and a #21 final national ranking by AP and USA Today. He was Clemson’s highest graded offensive lineman in three of the last five games, including a 94 percent grade in Clemson’s victory over rival South Carolina. He had 72.5 knockdown blocks for the year, third on the team. He had 8.5 knockdown blocks in Clemson’s win over #16 Florida State and its defense that featured three first-round draft selections.
The Rimington Trophy is in its seventh year of existence and is presented by Canon, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, USA and Black & Decker. The award is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, a foundation that was created in 1993 to support research for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a disease that afflicts Esiason’s son. Esiason and Rimington were teammates for four years with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The winner is selected by determining the consensus first-team All-America selection from among the postseason All-America teams chosen by the American Football Coaches Association, the Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News and the Football Writers of America.
The winner will be honored at an awards banquet at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska in January of 2006.
The only other ACC center on the Rimington Award Watch List is Leroy Harris of NC State. A Clemson center has never won the Rimington award, but former Tiger All-American Kyle Young was a finalist in both 2000 and 2001. Ironically, one member of the preseason list for the 2006 award is Kyle Young, the starting center for Fresno State. He is no relation to the former Clemson center.
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