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May 19, 2006

University of South Carolina offensive center Chris White is one of 39 players named to the pre-season Rimington Trophy Watch List, it was announced today. This season marks the seventh year of the Rimington Trophy recognizing the most outstanding center in college football and the first as a Regular Member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).

“With only one returning finalist (Dan Mozes, West Virginia) from last season the competition will be wide open which will certainly make for an exciting race,” said Dave Rimington. “Center is a very difficult position to evaluate and of course play so I wish all of the candidates and their respective teams a successful season.”

White, a senior from Chester, S.C., has made 28 career starts for the Gamecocks, most among the returning players. He was named the squad’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman at the conclusion of the spring camp.

2005 Rimington Trophy winner Greg Eslinger, Minnesota was a sixth round draft pick of the Denver Broncos and is expected to be a big contributor on the Broncos offensive line. In addition 2005 marked the inaugural presentation of the President Gerald R. Ford Legends of Center Award, accepted on behalf of President Ford by John Cappelletti (1973 Heisman Trophy Winner, Penn State University) at the annual Rimington Trophy banquet.

The seven-year old trophy is presented by Canon, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, USA and Black & Decker. The award is hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Minnesota’s Greg Eslinger, Michigan’s David Baas (2004 co-winner), LSU’s Ben Wilkerson (2004 co-winner), Virginia Tech’s Jake Grove, Miami’s Brett Romberg, Ohio State’s LeCharles Bentley, and Nebraska’s Dominic Raiola are past recipients. 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.

The winner is selected by determining the consensus All-American center pick from four existing All America Teams including: merican Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America.

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 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 most second team votes will win. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the Rimington Trophy committee.

The winner will be honored at the awards banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska, in January of 2007.