Florida offensive tackle D.J. Humphries has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Outland Trophy, released Thursday.
The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation's best "interior lineman," but is consistently claimed by offensive tackles and defensive tackles, and rarely by centers and guards. The last guard to win the Outland was Wisconsin's Greg Eslinger, in 2005, though Alabama's Barrett Jones won the 2011 Outland Trophy at tackle after switching from guard and before switching to center.
Humphries is one of a staggering 19 SEC players on the Outland's 64-man watch list; no other conference has more than 11.
No Gator has ever won the Outland Trophy, though Jack Youngblood (in 1970) and Jason Odom (in 1995) were each named finalists for the award.
College football award watch lists are stupid. They are beholden to confirmation and recency biases, and, while designed to be comprehensive to the point of absurdity, often fail to capture the breadth of talent in the sport.
More than zero college football awards last year went to guys not on preseason watch lists, which is why preseason watch lists are pointless— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) July 7, 2014
None of the watch lists mean anything: The number of players on those lists means that the quality of player on any given list varies from good to extraordinary, with little demarcation possible, and players who currently lack the notoriety to appear on a watch list but demonstrate the skills to contend for an award in the fall will be judged no less competent for not appearing on these list.
And yet, it's the middle of summer, and we're all "starved" for college football content, so these tidbits are "worth" "noting." This note will appear at the bottom of all "Florida Gators on 2014 college football award watch list" posts. Get used to seeing it.