BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana junior offensive lineman Matthew Bedford was named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America announced on Tuesday morning. The list recognizes 80 returning standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. The 2021 season continues a celebration of the award’s 75th anniversary and the watch list presents a talented field of players to accompany three returning FWAA All-Americans.

The recipient of the 2021 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 12, 2022.

Bedford started all seven games in which he appeared at right tackle in 2020. IU led the Big Ten (T-17th nationally) in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.25), and the Hoosiers finished fourth in the conference in scoring (28.9), fifth in passing offense (250.9), and fifth in time of possession (31:15).

The Cordova, Tenn., was Indiana’s 2019 Offensive Newcomer of the Year after he started eight times and played in nine overall at left tackle. IU matched a school record with nine 30-point games and set a program mark with 3,931 passing yards.

The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.

The Outland Trophy, celebrating 75 years since its founding, is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards are presenting their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2021 preseason watch list calendar:

Wed., July 28: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award

Thu., July 29: Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy

Fri., July 30: Maxwell Award

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

Indiana Football 2021 Preseason Watch Lists

Dodd Trophy – Tom Allen

Maxwell Award – Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.

Bednarik Award – Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen

Davey O’Brien Award – Michael Penix Jr.

Doak Walker Award – Stephen Carr

B1G Preseason Honors – Michael Penix Jr.

Biletnikoff Award – Ty Fryfogle

John Mackey Award – Peyton Hendershot

Jim Thorpe Award – Tiawan Mullen

Butkus Award – Micah McFadden

Outland Trophy – Matthew Bedford