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Penn State Football: Donovan Smith Named To Outland Trophy Watch List

by on July 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Penn State offensive tackle Donovan Smith has been named to The Outland Trophy watch list.

The award is presented to the nation's top interior lineman. Smith is one of the 64 lineman named to the preseason list.

The Outland Trophy is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century. Penn State defensive tackle Mike Reid won the Outland Trophy in 1969. All-America defensive tackle Devon Still was the most recent Nittany Lion finalist, in 2011.

Smith enters his junior season as the most experienced member of the offensive line. He started 11 games last year and has 20 career starts over the past two seasons, the third-highest total on the current team. Smith was selected first-team preseason All-Big Ten by USA Today and Lindy's and second-team all-conference by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele's College Football Preview.

This season will be particularly important for Smith as he looks to help solidify a young offensive line and perhaps even more importantly protect quarterback Christian Hackenberg's blindside.

The watch list will be trimmed to six or seven semifinalists on Nov. 20 and four days later, three Outland Trophy finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner of the 69th Outland Trophy will be announced on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 11 from Disney's Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Nittany Lions now have five players on four different preseason watch lists: Kyle Carter (Mackey Award - Nation's Top Tight End), Christian Hackenberg (Maxwell Award - College Football MVP), Jesse James (Mackey Award - Nation's Top Tight End), Jordan Lucas (Bednarik - Defensive Player of the Year) and Donovan Smith (Outland Trophy - Nation's Top Interior Lineman).

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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