University of Kentucky football center Jon Toth (pictured) and Western Kentucky's Max Halpin (pictured, below) have been named to the 2016 Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, the Rimington Trophy Committee announced on Tuesday, May 17.
Toth, a native of Indianapolis, is one of four returning starters on UK's offensive line and is considered one of the top centers in college football for the second straight season. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound senior, will enter his final campaign having played in 36 games with 35 consecutive starts. Last season, he helped UK’s four-man running back rotation collect 1,855 yards, including Stanley “Boom” Williams who averaged a school-record 7.1 yards per carry.
In 2014, Toth (pronounced TOETH, long “o” sound) started in all 12 games and was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week in the season-opening win over UT Martin as he helped the Cats roll up 59 points and 656 yards; the 656 yards is the fourth-highest single-game mark in school history.
As a freshman, Toth was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team by league coaches after helping three different UK players rush for 400-plus yards. Off the field, Toth is a three-time SEC academic honor roll member and is on track to graduate in December with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Halpin, who was also earned the honor in 2015, is one of 57 centers to be added to the preseason list and one of six from Conference USA. WKU has had a member on the list in three of the last four years as Sean Conway landed on the list in 2013.
Returning from a back injury in fine form, Halpin started all 14 games for the Hilltoppers and led WKU’s offensive line to another record-setting campaign in 2015. The Hilltopper front blocked for the school’s third-consecutive record breaker in passing offense and total offense, while paving the way for a sixth-consecutive 1,000-yard rusher.
In his 24 starts, WKU has averaged 503.3 yards of total offense with Halpin at center. The Hilltoppers also own a 19-5 mark in those 24 starts, with the team also earning a win in the game in 2013 where he took over the starting center role in the middle of the Morgan State game.
The winner of the award will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday, January 14, 2017.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.6 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $120 million for the fight against cystic fibrosis.
Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.
For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com.
The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about its story.
Photos by UK Athletics & WKU Athletics