Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher was named a finalist Monday for the 63rd Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football. Other finalists include Oklahoma guard Duke Robinson and Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith.
The winner of the Outland Trophy will be announced on the evening of Dec. 11 during "The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show" at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The show, hosted by ESPN?s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, airs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. CT.
“We are proud of Michael and excited for him,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “Michael has had an excellent senior year and has played a major role in the success of our offense, both running and passing.”
Oher, a 6-5, 318-pound senior from Memphis, Tenn., has started 45 straight games for the Rebels (7-4), who defeated LSU, 31-13, last Saturday. The subject of a book, "The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game," depicting his ascension from impoverished beginnings, Oher was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after Ole Miss beat Louisiana-Monroe 59-0 this season.
With Oher helping pave the way, the Rebels rank third in the SEC in rushing offense (180.1 ypg) and fourth in fewest sacks allowed (1.36 pg) this year. He is projected to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft by several media outlets.
Oher is the first finalist for the Outland Trophy award to come from Ole Miss.