LARAMIE -- For the  second consecutive season, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) have named University of Wyoming junior center Keegan Cryder to the Outland Trophy Watch List.

The Outland Trophy is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.

The FWAA announced the preseason watch list for the 2021 Outland Trophy on Tuesday and recognized 80 returning standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences along with student-athletes from independent teams.

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The 2021 season continues a celebration of the award’s 75th anniversary and the watch list presents a talented field of players to accompany three returning FWAA All-Americans.

The 2020 season saw Cryder and his Wyoming offensive line mates help the Cowboys generate 219.5 rushing yards per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 14 nationally. Xazavian Valladay ranked No. 17 in the nation in rushing, and Trey Smith ranked No. 48. Valladay also led the Mountain West in rushing, averaging 110.0 yards per game, while Smith averaged 81.3 rushing yards per game to rank No. 6 in the Mountain West.

In 2019, Cryder was a key to the Wyoming offense ranking No. 2 in the MW and No. 23 in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging 214.8 rushing yards per game. He helped Wyoming rank No. 4 in the Mountain West and No. 32 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed (1.62 per game). Cryder also helped pave the way for running back Valladay to record a 1,000-yard rushing season (1,265 yards) in 2019. Valladay led the Mountain West and ranked No. 18 in the nation in rushing yards per game (105.4).

Cryder was a leader of a Wyoming offensive line unit that was one of only two Mountain West O-Lines and one of only 24 nationally to be named to the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll for 2019.

Only interior linemen on offense (centers, guards and tackles) and defense (tackles and nose tackles) are eligible for the Outland Trophy. The 2021 Outland Trophy Watch List includes 26 offensive tackles, 24 guards, 17 centers and 13 defensive tackles/nose tackles. Ends are not eligible. Additional candidates may be added to the watch list during the season.

The Outland Trophy, celebrating 75 years since its founding, is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo.

An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.

The recipient of the 2021 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 12, 2022.

* University of Wyoming press release

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