ISU lineman Trevor Downing expects to be an instant difference maker after transitioning from guard to center. He is already being recognized with his inclusion on the 2022 Rimington Trophy watchlist. The Rimington Trophy is awarded to the top center in college football.
Downing has one start at center under his belt already. He anchored the ISU offensive line in the Cheez It Bowl against Clemson last season. He has been a starter at guard for two seasons, making 26 career starts. Downing checks in at 6’4 and 310 pounds.
Downing is undoubtedly one of the premier offensive lineman in the Big 12 regardless of where he lines up. He was a Second-Team Freshman All-American selected by The Athletic, and an HM All-Big 12 selection by coaches in 2019. He has only trended upward since then. Last season he earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors as one of eight Cyclones on the list. The offense averaged more than 424 YPG.
Iowa State has 8️⃣ players on the All-Big 12 First Team.
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) December 2, 2021
The ISU center faces tough competition for the honor of best center in the nation. The Rimington Trophy watchlist includes the 40 best players at the position. Let’s take a look at some of the players who will be favorites to claim the Rimington Trophy.
Olusegun Victor Oluwatimi, Michigan
Olu Oluwatimi of Michigan projects as one of the top-three centers who will be eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft. He was a finalist to win this award last year when he played for Virginia. He decided to forego the NFL Draft and use his final year of eligibility with the Wolverines. Michigan has one of its best quarterback situations in years and with the 6’3, 310 pound Oluwatimi manning the middle the offense should be in good hands this season.
Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran is one of nine Bulldogs voted Preseason All-SEC and for good reason. He was the lynchpin for the offensive line that helped push the fourth-most yards per play in the FBS. Van Pran played 90-percent of his team’s snaps last season, the most of any player. He is younger than some of his competitors but he has as much upside as anybody on this list.
Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame
Jarrett Patterson is the biggest unknown in the top tier of centers in college football. He moved from left tackle to starting center for the Irish in 2019 and was a bright spot right away. Injuries cost him some games and perhaps stunted his growth slightly. Patterson understands scheme and assignment well. If his strength shows an increase in 2022, look out. The Irish are in a better situation overall this season and that should help Patterson settle in and boost his stock. He is one of four Notre Dame players named a Sporting News preseason All American.
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