DALLAS – A pair of Arkansas offensive linemen were named to the watch list for the 2017 Outland Trophy on Thursday, an award presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Making the list were senior center Frank Ragnow and junior left guard Hjalte Froholdt. Eleven schools had multiple offensive linemen named to the list, with Arkansas and Alabama being the only two from the Southeastern Conference. Only centers, guards and tackles on offense or defense are eligible for Outland Trophy consideration.
Also a Rimington Trophy candidate, Ragnow has already garnered spots on several preseason All-America teams, including earning first-team honors from Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports, as well as second-team status from Sporting News. He is also a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The Victoria, Minnesota, native has made 26 straight starts heading into his senior campaign with 14 starts at right guard and 12 at center. Last season, he was named the nation’s best offensive lineman, best run blocker and a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus (PFF).
A native of Svendborg, Denmark, Froholdt started all 13 games at left guard as a sophomore last season. Froholdt will enter his second season on the offensive line after playing defensive tackle as a freshman in 2015.
Ragnow and Froholdt were part of an offensive line last season that blocked for 428.4 yards of total offense per game and helped the offense log both 200 yards passing and rushing in the same game five times. They opened lanes for running back Rawleigh Williams III, who captured the SEC regular-season rushing title and finished with 1,360 yards, and provided time for the SEC’s total passing yardage leader, Austin Allen.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner.