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Outland Trophy names six semifinalists

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Baylor guard Cyril Richardson is one of six Outland Trophy semifinalists. (USATSI)
Baylor guard Cyril Richardson is one of six Outland Trophy semifinalists. (USATSI)
The Outland Trophy has announced the pool of six semifinalists from which "the best interior lineman in college football on offense or defense" for 2013 will be named.

The semifinalists are Pitt senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald; Alabama junior left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio; Texas A&M senior left tackle Jake Matthews; Baylor senior guard Cyril Richardson; Florida State senior center Bryan Stork; and Stanford senior guard David Yankey.

The trophy's three finalists will be announced Nov. 25, with the winner named Dec. 12.

From the Football Writers Association of America statement on the announcement, bios of the semifinalists:

Donald, 6-0, 285-pound senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., has had the most productive season in college football for a defensive tackle. He leads the country in tackles for a loss per game (2.3) by a wide margin and he is tied for sixth in sacks. He also has four forced fumbles. A tackle with great agility, he's often double teamed and even at times tripled teamed.

Kouandjio, 6-6, 310-pound junior from Hyattsville, Md., is one of the mainstays on the Crimson Tide's offensive line that has produced an Outland Trophy winner or finalist the past two seasons. The unbeaten Crimson Tide, possibly headed for a third straight national title, has scored 50 touchdowns and averaged 38.8 points per game.

Matthews, a 6-5, 305-pound senior from Missouri City, Texas, actually moved over to Joeckel's left tackle spot this season and has been the main protector for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel now that Joeckel is in the NFL. Matthews is a returning FWAA All-American from a year ago.

Richardson, 6-5, 340-pound senior from Fort Worth, Texas, is described as a "dominating drive blocker" in some reviews. He's one of the major reasons Baylor has the nation's top scoring offense. He has played tackle, but moved back to guard these past two seasons. Baylor's rushing game averages just over 300 yards per game, while the Bears are averaging a remarkable 61.2 points per game to lead the nation.

Stork, 6-4, 300-pound senior from Vero Beach, Fla., has played every position on the offensive line and is the top lineman on the No. 2-ranked Seminoles' powerful offense which averages 52.7 points a game. A fifth-year player, he has made 36 career starts.

Yankey, 6-5, 311-pound senior from Roswell, Ga., anchors Stanford's strong offensive line and is a pulling guard for the Cardinal's running game. In Stanford's 26-20 victory over Oregon, it ran the ball on all 17 of its fourth-quarter offensive snaps. He has 35 career starts.

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-American lineman at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1900s. The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

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