Idaho's Iupati added to Outland Trophy watch list - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

University of Idaho - Football

Idaho's Iupati added to Outland Trophy watch list

Mike Iupati, from Samoa, didn't begin playing football until he was 14-years-old (Photo: Univ. of Idaho Athletics) Mike Iupati, from Samoa, didn't begin playing football until he was 14-years-old (Photo: Univ. of Idaho Athletics)

Senior Vandal could be one of best linemen in the country

by Univ. of Idaho Athletics

University of Idaho senior guard Mike Iupati has earned the honor of being chosen to the 2009 Outland Trophy Watch List. The Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the player regarded as the best interior lineman in the country.

Iupati begins his third season as a starter for the Vandals, although he missed the first two games of the 2008 season as he recovered from off-season shoulder surgery.

"He'll be one of the top linemen in the country," coach Robb Akey said. "He's a fantastic leader, very physical and a tremendous person."

Iupati, 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, moved to the U.S. from American Samoa when he was 14 and didn't play American football until he was 14. He and Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith are the only Western Athletic Conference players on the list.

The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century, will be announced on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10 at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

2009 Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List

Jon Asamoah - Illinois (G) Kristofer O'Dowd - USC (C)
Geno Atkins - Georgia (DT) Jared Odrick - Penn St. (DT)
Zane Beadles - Utah (OL) Vince Oghobaase - Duke (DT)
Ciron Black - LSU (OT) Russell Okung - Oklahoma St. (OT)
Bryan Bulaga - Iowa (OT) Jeff Owens - Georgia (DT)
Jeff Byers - USC (G) Mike Pouncey - Florida (OL)
Brandon Carter - Texas Tech (G) Maurkice Pouncey - Florida (C)
Nick Charles - Air Force (G) Brian Price - UCLA (DT)
Terrence Cody - Alabama (DT) Sergio Render - Virgina Tech (G)
Anthony Davis - Rutgers (OT) Boo Robinson - Wake Forest (NG)
Chris Fisher - Louisiana-Lafayette (C) Malcom Sheppard - Arkansas (DT)
Kurtis Gregory - Missouri (G) D'Anthony Smith - Louisiana Tech (DT)
Chris Hall - Texas (C) Ndamukong Suh - Nebraska (DT)
Mike Iupati - Idaho (OL) Matt Tennant - Boston College (C)
John Jerry - Ole Miss (OT) Torrell Troup - UCF (DT)
Mike Johnson - Alabama (OL) Adam Ulatoski - Texas (OT)
Arthur Jones - Syracuse (DT) J.D. Walton - Baylor (C)
Gerald McCoy - Oklahoma (DT) Trent Williams - Oklahoma (OT)
Josh McNeil - Tennessee (C) Stefen Wisniewski - Penn St. (C)
Andre Neblett - Temple (NT) Sam Young - Notre Dame (OT)
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