The Outland Trophy is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman. This season, three finalists have separated themselves from the pack as finalists for the award, including offensive guard Cyril Richardson of the Baylor Bears. His strength in the interior of the Baylor offensive line has been a major reason for the Bears’ success in 2013 and could power his way to the Outland Trophy this December.
The senior guard has been a consistent presence for the Baylor offense this season. All season long (right up to their disastrous trip to Stillwater) there was no team in the country running an offense as high-powered as the Bears. To date, Baylor has allowed just 15 sacks on the season as they rank No. 1 in total offense and scoring offense averaging 660.8 yards and 56.8 points per game. A major reason for their success has been their dynamic running game which ranks No. 9 in the nation this season.
And Richardson has been at the center of all of it. As a physical presence in the interior, the 6-foot-5, 335-pound senior has been a beast, getting defensive linemen on skates and pushing them out of the play to open up lanes for any number of the talented backs at Art Briles‘ disposal. His ability to steam-roll over defenders and then get to the second level to block linebackers trying to flow to the play has been a difference-maker for Baylor’s offensive success in 2013.
There aren’t all that many opportunities for the big uglies on the interior of the line to get a lot of recognition but the Outland Trophy is arguably their biggest stage to shine. Is Richardson in line to stand tall as college football’s best interior lineman in 2013?