Nov. 20, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Indiana - University of Notre Dame senior offensive guard Quenton Nelson has been named a finalist for the 2017 Outland Trophy, which is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Nelson, Notre Dame's 2016 Offensive Lineman of the Year, has started 34 times in his 35-game, three-year playing career. In 2017, he's started all 11 games at left guard and ranks as the highest-rated offensive guard in the country by Pro Football Focus (45.1) -- next highest-rated guard sits at 39.8.
Nelson has not surrendered a sack or QB hit, and allowed just two QB hurries in 744 offensive snaps this season. In fact, over his career (1,543 snaps), Nelson has surrendered just three sacks, none in the last two years, and three quarterback hits, one in the last two years, over his Irish career.
Nelson's the highest-rated offensive guard in terms of run blocking in the country by Pro Football Focus (30.4) as well -- next highest-rated run-blocking guard sits at 24.1. He's part of the offensive line that paves the way for the second-best FBS rushing attack in yards/carry (6.63), tied for fifth-best in rushing TDs (35), fifth-best in total rushing yards (3,195) and sixth-best in rushing offense (290.5 rush yards/game).
Notre Dame has rushed for at least 300 yards in seven of its 11 games this season. Nelson earned midseason First Team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, The All-American, Sporting News, ESPN and CBS Sports.
The winner of the Outland Trophy will be revealed on Thurs., Dec. 7, on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The Outland Trophy has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946. It is named after the late John Outland, a lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. Since the inception of the award, three Irish players have been honored with the Outland Trophy - George Connor (1946), Bill Fischer (1948) and Ross Browner (1976). Aaron Taylor was one of three finalists for the award in 1993.
The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
The Outland Trophy Award Dinner will be held on Wed., Jan. 10, in Omaha at the DoubleTree Hotel Downtown.