NEW YORK – The 2008 winners of the Rimington Award have been announced honoring the top centers in the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA levels.
The award has been handed out every year since 2003 as part of the honoring of the top center in the country with the Rimington Trophy
This year’s winners are highlighted by Sam Collins who started 46 consecutive games at center for Abilene Christian University.
NCAA Div. I-AA (FCS)
James Madison University
6’3”, 285 lbs.
Lemn was one of six team captains and the leading offensive line performer on JMU’s 12-2 team that won the Colonial Athletic Association championship with an 8-0 record and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. JMU was the No. 1 seed for the FCS playoffs after being ranked No. 1 nationally from late September through the remainder of the regular season.
During the 2008 season, JMU’s offensive line averaged 38.1 points and 401.4 yards of total offense per game. The Dukes averaged 282.8 yards per game rushing, and nationally in the FCS they ranked second in scoring, fourth in rushing and 22nd in total offense.
After the 2008 season, Lemn was widely honored, being named First-team Associated Press All-America, First-team Walter Camp Foundation All-America and First-team Sports Network All-America. The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) named him to their First-team All Conference list, as well.
NCAA Div. II
Abilene Christian University
6’0”, 270 lbs.
Collins completed his remarkable four-year career in 2008, and did so by starting a school record 46 consecutive games at center. He started Week 1 of his freshman season in 2005 and never missed a snap through the end of the 2008 season. The Wildcats’ offensive play over the course of Collins’ career, particularly over the last three seasons, has been unmatched.
The 2006-2008 seasons saw the Wildcats rack up 18,548 yards of offense, 215 offensive touchdowns and 1,657 points. During that span of 36 games, the Wildcat offense also averaged 515.2 yards and 46 points per game. In addition, ACU went 29-7 with one Lone Star Conference championship and three straight NCAA Division II playoff appearances.
For his part, Collins and his offensive line allowed ACU quarterbacks to be sacked just once every 43.5 pass attempts over the last three seasons. During his tenure, Collins served as the unquestioned leader of one of the top offensive lines in NCAA Division II football.
NCAA Div. III
University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
6’4”, 285 lbs.
Ostrue led an offensive line that allowed just nine sacks in 10 games and produced 375 yards of offense per game, including 100-yard rushing performances eight times. He helped the Tommies post one of the three best turnarounds out of 241 Division III teams as they went from 2-8 in 2007 to a 7-3 finish this year.
Ostrue is the third player coached by Glenn Caruso to receive the honor. All three players were moved to center. When Caruso coached at North Dakota State, former tackle Rob Hunt was the Division I-AA winner in 2004. When Caruso was offensive coordinator at South Dakota, he moved Christian Morton from tackle to center, and Morton won the honor as a junior in 2006.
Last fall, Ostrue was among 25 players named to the elite Division III football All-America team selected by the American Football Coaches’ Association (AFCA). He also was named second-team All-American by d3football.com — among its top 50 players honored. Ostrue became the Tommies’ first interior offensive line All-American in 17 seasons, since guard Kevin DeVore was honored in both 1990 and 1991. He’s one of seven underclassmen on the 25-man honor teams.
6’1”, 300 lbs.
Hynes played in the final nine regular season games for the Lions in 2008 as the starting offensive center. In those nine games, he anchored an offensive line that was among the national leaders by allowing just five sacks. The Lions went 9-0 with Hynes in the lineup and averaged 41.0 points, 466.9 total offense yards, 178.4 rushing yards, and 288.4 passing yards a game.
Hynes, who missed the season opener and the team’s postseason run due to injuries, received first-team All-HAAC accolades for the second straight season after grading out at 93% for the year.
Hynes was one of the team leaders for the Lindenwood squad which went 11-2 in 2008 and advanced to the NAIA Semifinals for the first time in school history. The Lions offense led the nation in sacks allowed, ranked fifth in total offense and sixth in scoring offense.
About the Rimington Award
Each year since 2003, the Rimington Award is presented to the premier centers in each of the following divisions: Division I-AA (FCS), Division II, Division III, and NAIA. The recipients of the Rimington Award are chosen by Don Hansen. Don is recognized as the foremost expert on Small College Football across the United States. The term “Small College Football” refers to the collegiate football divisions NCAA I-AA (FCS) , NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA; or in other words all college football divisions with the exception of Division I-A (FBS).