Collins, Alexander names to Outland Trophy Watch List

Information provided by LSU Sports

BATON ROUGE – LSU senior left tackle La’el Collins and junior left guard Vadal Alexander were named to the 2014 Outland Trophy Watch List, the Football Writers Association of America announced Thursday.

The award is presented each season to the best interior lineman on offense or defense in college football.

This marks the second straight season Collins has earned a spot on the Outland Trophy Watch List.

A senior from Baton Rouge, Collins enters the 2014 season as one of the top left tackles in college football. He has started 25 times in 32 games played in his career and has seen action in 1,690 offensive snaps with 134.5 total knockdowns.

After spending his first two seasons at guard, Collins took over as starting left tackle in 2013, and he served as an anchor for an LSU offense that set a school record with 37 rushing touchdowns last season. He finished the season with 65 knockdowns in 808 snaps on the way to earning Second Team All-SEC recognition.

Another versatile player, Alexander shifted from right tackle as a freshman to starting left guard as a sophomore in 2013. Excelling in both run blocking and pass protection, Alexander has started 22 times in 26 career games and has piled up 120.5 knockdowns in 1,466 offensive snaps in his first two seasons.

A native of Buford, Georgia, Alexander led LSU in total snaps played at 810 and knockdowns with 71 in the 2013 season. He helped pave the way for Jeremy Hill’s 216 rushing yards in the Outback Bowl win against Iowa when Alexander established a career high with 13 knockdowns against the Hawkeyes.

The Southeastern Conference dominated the Outland Trophy Watch List with 19 players, at least eight more prospects than any of the other conferences represented on the 64-man list.

The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 26-man first team and eventually the Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.

Semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 20, and four days later the three finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner will be announced on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 11.