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Putnam Named to Rimington Watch List

Putnam Named to Rimington Watch List

The Rimington Trophy and the Boomer Esiason Foundation announced today that center Will Putnam has been named to the 2023 watch list for the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s top center.

Additional information from award organizers is included below. Visit the 2023 Preseason Honors hub for more preseason accolades garnered by Clemson.

New York, NY — Friday, August 4th, 2023 — The Rimington Trophy is proud to release its 2023 preseason Watchlist. This year, the Trophy committee worked with Pro Football Focus (PFF) to narrow down its list to the top 40 centers. PFF grades every player on every play of every game on how well they execute their given assignment. That play-by-play grading allowed the Trophy committee to create a watchlist based both on nominations from the schools and data provided by PFF. Once the season begins, schools will be able to nominate their centers for late addition based on in-season merit.

The 2023 Rimington Trophy Watchlist is as follows:

Matthew Lee, Miami (FL)
Maurice Smith, Florida State
Will Putnam, Clemson
Dylan McMahom, NC State
Jacob Monk, Duke
Bryan Hudson, Louisville
Jake Kradel, Pittsburgh
Beaux Limmer, Arkansas
Seth McLaughlin, Alabama
Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
Cole Smith, Mississippi State
Cooper Mays, Tennessee
Bryce Foster, Texas A&M
Zach Frazier, West Virginia
Clark Barrington, Baylor
Connor Pay, BYU
Rusty Staats, Texas Tech
Jack Freeman, Houston
Mike Novitsky, Kansas
Jake Majors, Texas
John Lanz, TCU
Drake Nugent, Michigan
Nick Samac, Michigan State
Gus Hartwig, Purdue
Logan Jones, Iowa
Ben Scott, Nebraska
Jake Levengood, Oregon State
Justin Dedich, USC
Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
Duke Clemens, UCLA
Matteo Mele, Washington
Matthew Cindric, California
Brady Wilson, UAB
Andrew Meyer, UTEP
Branson Hickman, SMU
Jacob Likes, Membphis
Sincere Haynesworth, Tulane
Zeke Correll, Notre Dame
Jacob Gideon, Western Michigan
Isaiah Helms, Appalachian State

While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these three prestigious teams to determine a winner:

· Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)
· Sporting News (SN)
· Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

Because the selectors of these three 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 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, provided with data from Pro Football Focus.

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About the Rimington Trophy
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football. Since its inception, the award has raised over $5 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only two-time winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy, visit

About the Boomer Esiason Foundation
In 1993, Boomer Esiason’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF). Boomer and his wife Cheryl founded the Boomer Esiason Foundation to raise funds and awareness for the cystic fibrosis community. To date, the Foundation has raised over $160 million and works to provide educational and financial resources to help people living with CF in the here and now. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs, digestive system, and reproductive system of about 40,000 Americans by causing a thick build-up of mucus that leads to blockage, inflammation, and infection.

About Pro Football Focus
Since 2006, PFF has separated themselves from the pack in their ability to provide game-changing data supported through studying every player, on every play, of every game. In 2014, they began to do so for college football. In 2023, PFF’s college analysts, led by Max Chadwick, supported the Rimington Trophy in creating the Watchlist.

About the NCFAA
The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.

NCFAA Watch List Calendar
Sixteen NCFAA members are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period as the association spearheads a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2023 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 31: Maxwell Award
Tue., Aug. 1: Outland Trophy/Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wed., Aug. 2: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thu., Aug. 3: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., Aug. 4: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy
Mon., Aug. 7: Biletnikoff Award
Tue., Aug. 8: Davey O’Brien Award
Wed., Aug. 9: Doak Walker Award
Thu., Aug. 10: Butkus Award/Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award
Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award

For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.