Mountain West Football: Five Named To 2019 Rimington Trophy Watch List
The list of those in the running to be college football’s best center includes five from the Mountain West.
A sneaky deep position in the Mountain West gets some love.
Watch list season continued today with the release of the Rimington Trophy’s list of players to follow. Given annually to the nation’s best center, there are five athletes from the Mountain West, among 80 in all, who might be more serious candidates than you’d expect.
San Diego State’s Keith Ismael headlines the quintet. He has been an all-conference mainstay since ascending to the starting lineup in 2017, earning first-team honors last fall. He was also the lone Aztec to make Pro Football Focus‘s all-conference offense, as well, after splitting time between center and both guard positions and playing like one of the best linemen in the conference, accruing just two penalties in 821 snaps.
Garrett Larson might be overshadowed a bit by his teammates elsewhere on the offensive, but the Boise State center is a very good talent in his own right. 2018 was his second season as a starter for the Broncos and he helped paved the way for yet another 1,000-yard running back.
Hawaii’s run-and-shoot offense would not have worked without a capable offensive line, and Kohl Levao was integral to that success despite the lack of headlines. He spent the majority of last season at right tackle, starting 11 games there, though he moved inside to center for the last three.
New Mexico’s Kyle Stapley, meanwhile, proved to be a quietly efficient workhorse for the Lobos last fall by playing 812 snaps, the most of any lineman on the team, while recording zero penalties.
UNLV center Sid Acosta missed 2017 with an injury but certainly came back strong for the Rebels last fall, making eleven starts and leading a rushing attack that averaged 4.95 yards per carry, the second-best figure in the Mountain West.
Last year’s Rimington Trophy winner was former North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury.