MUNCIE, Ind. -Fifth year senior Curtis Blackwell (Uniondale, Ind./Norwell High School) has earned a spot on the 2021 Outland Trophy Watch List making him the third Cardinal in a matter of days to become an early candidate for a national college football award.

The Outland Trophy, awarded since 1946, is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman on offense or defense. Ends are not eligible.

An All-MAC Second Team selection, Blackwell started all eight games at right tackle for Ball State’s Mid-American Conference Championship and Arizona Bowl-winning team.  He made the move from right guard prior to the start of the 2020 season. Blackwell blocked for a Cardinals team that ranked 25th nationally in scoring offense (34.2) and 27th in total offense (447.2). He helped the Cardinals feature a balanced attack with 269.2 passing yards and 178.0 rushing yards per game.

Blackwell has also found success in the classroom earning back-to-back MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete honors in both 2019 and 2020.

Entering this season, Blackwell has an active streak of 30 consecutive starts which are the most of any offensive player on the Ball State roster.

With Blackwell’s help, the Cardinals finished 2020 with a 7-1 (5-1 MAC) record. BSU won its last seven games, claiming the MAC Championship over No. 23 Buffalo and the Arizona Bowl over No. 19 San Jose State on its way to a year-end national ranking of No. 23 in both the AP and coaches polls.

The Cardinals are looking to “run it back” as the favorite to win the MAC West Division and the Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship Game again in 2021 in the league’s annual preseason media poll.

The 2021 Ball State football season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 2, with a 7 p.m. kickoff versus Western Illinois at Scheumann Stadium. Season tickets, six-ticket flex plans, and single-game tickets are available now. Season ticket and flex plan holders enjoy the best available prices on Cardinals tickets along with additional benefits, including primary access to away games and postseason events. Fans can also purchase tickets via phone at 888.BSU.TICKET.