Laramie, Wyo. -- The first preseason honor of the 2008 season has come the way of a Wyoming Cowboy Football player. On Friday, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) released its 2008 Outland Trophy Watch List, and Wyoming junior defensive tackle John Fletcher was named to the list.
Fletcher had an outstanding sophomore season in 2007, recording 10.5 quarterback sacks to rank No. 11 in the nation. A native of Erie, Colo., Fletcher also recorded 14.0 tackles for losses in ‘07 to rank No. 52 in the NCAA. He led Wyoming in both categories and earned Second Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a sophomore in voting by the conference's media members and head coaches.
"That is a real feather in our cap to have John (Fletcher) be named to the Outland Watch List," said UW head coach Joe Glenn. "Having been one of the top pass rushers in the nation last year, I think that was a sign of things to come for John. He's a big cat, who not only can put pressure on the quarterback, but is effective against the run and gives us great athleticism up front."
The Outland Trophy is awarded each year to the best interior lineman in college football. The award has been presented every year since 1946. This year's announcement of the Outland Trophy winner will be made on Dec. 11, 2008, on the ESPNU Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla. The actual presentation of the Outland Trophy will be made on Jan. 15, 2009, by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee at the Outland Trophy Banquet in Omaha, Neb.
Fletcher was one of only three Mountain West Conference student-athletes and one of only 70 linemen nationally named to this year's Outland Trophy Watch List. The other two MWC players recognized were offensive linemen Ray Feinga (guard) and Dallas Reynolds (tackle), both of BYU.
The award is named for the late John Outland, who was a lineman at the University of Pennsylvania at the turn of the 20th century.
Below are the individuals on this year's Outland Trophy Watch List.
2008 Outland Trophy Watch List:
Geno Atkins, Georgia DT Jr. Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Ted Bentler, Army DT Jr. Davenport, Iowa
Ciron Black, LSU OT Jr. Tyler, Texas
Alex Boone, Ohio State OT Sr. Lakewood, Ohio
Ron Brace, Boston College DT Sr. Springfield, Mass.
Robert Brewster, Ball State OT Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio
Eben Britton, Arizona OT Jr. Burbank, Calif.
George Bussey, Louisville OT Sr. Louisville, Ky.
Jeff Byers, USC G Sr. Fort Collins, Colo.
Terrill Byrd, Cincinnati DT Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio
Gerald Cadogan, Penn State OT Sr. Portsmouth, Ohio
Antoine Caldwell, Alabama C Sr. Montgomery, Ala.
Anthony Davis, Rutgers OT So. Piscataway, N.J.
Cedric Dockery, Texas G Sr. Garland, Texas
John Estes, Hawaii C Jr. Stockton, Calif.
Ray Feinga, BYU G Sr. West Valley City, Utah
Alex Fletcher, Stanford C Sr. Old Brookville, N.Y.
John Fletcher, Wyoming DT Jr. Erie, Colo.
Xavier Fulton, Illinois OT Sr. Flossmoor, Ill.
Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech OT Sr. Tyrone. Ga.
John Gill, Northwestern DT Sr. Los Altos Hills, Calif.
DeMarcus Granger, Oklahoma DT Jr. Dallas, Texas
Brigham Harwell, UCLA DT Sr. Chino Hills, Calif.
Brett Helms, LSU C Sr. Stuttgart, Ark.
Ziggy Hood, Missouri DT Sr. Amarillo, Texas
George Hypolite, Colorado DT Sr. Los Angeles, Calif.
Greg Isdaner, West Virginia G Jr. Gladwyne, Pa.
Ricky Jean-Francois, LSU DT Jr. Miami, Fla.
John Jerry, Mississippi OT Jr. Batesville, Miss.
Peria Jerry, Mississippi DT Sr. Batesville, Miss.
Herman Johnson, LSU G Sr. Olla, La.
Arthur Jones, Syracuse DT Jr. Endicott, N.Y.
Mitch King, Iowa DT Sr. Burlington, Iowa
Matt Kroul, Iowa DT Sr. Mount Vernon, Iowa
Andy Levitre, Oregon State OT Sr. Ben Lomond, Calif.
Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma OT Sr. Fountain, Colo.
Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas C Sr. Little Rock, Ark.
Alex Mack, California C Sr. Santa Barbara, Calif.
Matt Mandich, Arkansas State OT Sr. Hattiesburg, Miss.
Sen'Derrick Marks, Auburn DT Jr. Mobile, Ala.
Ryan McDonald, Illinois C Sr. Holland, Mich.
Josh McNeil, Tennessee C Jr. Collins, Miss.
Fili Moala, USC DT Sr. Buena Park, Calif.
Eugene Monroe, Virginia OT Sr. South Plainfield, N.J.
Gus Mustakas, Pittsburgh DT Sr. Cooper City, Fla.
Vince Oghobaase, Duke DT Jr. Houston Texas
Michael Oher, Mississippi OT Sr. Memphis, Tenn.
Jeff Owens, Georgia DT Sr. Sunrise, Fla.
Anthony Parker, Tennessee G Sr. Jonesboro, Ga.
Jeremy Perry, Oregon State G Sr. Hau'ula, Hawaii
Steve Rehring, Ohio State G Sr. West Chester, Ohio
Sergio Render, Virginia Tech G Jr. Newnan, Ga.
Dallas Reynolds, BYU OT Sr. Provo, Utah
Duke Robinson, Oklahoma G Sr. Atlanta, Ga.
Ryan Schmidt, USF G Sr. Boca Raton, Fla.
Dorell Scott, Clemson DT Sr. Columbia, S.C.
Sean Sester, Purdue OT Sr. Fort Thomas, Ky.
A.Q. Shipley, Penn State C Sr. Coraopolis, Pa.
Andre Smith, Alabama OT Jr. Birmingham, Ala.
Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia OT Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio
Jim Tartt, Florida G Jr. Sopchoppy, Fla.
Terrance Taylor, Michigan DT Sr. Muskegon, Mich.
Fenuki Tupou, Oregon OT Sr. Elverta, Calif.
Max Unger, Oregon C Sr. Honaunau, Hawaii
Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin G Sr. Hudson, Wis.
Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech G Sr. Corsicana, Texas
Vance Walker, Georgia Tech DT Sr. Fort Mill, S.C.
Garry Williams, Kentucky OT Sr. Louisville, Ky.
Eric Wood, Louisville C Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio
Sam Young, Notre Dame OT Jr. Coral Springs, Fla.