Rusty Staats earns Preseason recognition on Rimington Watch List

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Football center Rusty Staats has earned a place on the Rimington Trophy Watch List.

The Rimington Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I FBS football.

Staats anchored WKU’s offensive line in 2021 during the team’s run to a Conference USA East Division Championship. He was tasked with protecting C-USA MVP and NCAA record-setting quarterback Bailey Zappe. As an offensive line unit, Staats and the rest of the Tops allowed only 17 sacks on the season, which was 12th best in college football and second best within Conference USA.

While more than a dozen All-America football teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee will use these prestigious teams to determine a winner:

Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)
Sporting News (SN)
Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

The Rimington Trophy will also use these teams to determine the winner of the center award. Because the selectors of these All-America teams can place centers in a mix of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11-man first teams can often have two centers. The Rimington Trophy’s policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the three All-American teams.

The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the Rimington Trophy committee with information provided by Pro Football Focus.