LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior offensive lineman Paul Stawarz became the first Red Raider named to a preseason watch list Wednesday as he was one of 57 announced nominees for the Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation's top center.
Stawarz, who was named to the watch list for the first time in his career, was one of five Big 12 centers recognized, joining Sam Tecklenburg of Baylor, Adam Holtorf of Kansas State, Jonathan Alvarez of Oklahoma and Zach Shackelford of Texas.
Stawarz, a native of Channahon, Illinois, has started in 21-consecutive games on the offensive line entering his senior season, which ranks second among Tech returners. He started at center in all 13 games a year ago, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades in the process.
Tech boasted one of the youngest offensive lines in the country a year ago as Stawarz anchored a unit that featured three sophomores in Travis Bruffy, Madison Akamnonu and Terence Steele as well as a true freshman in Jack Anderson. The offensive line helped Tech average 140.9 rushing yards per game, an improvement of nearly 40 yards from the 2016 season.
Stawarz follows in the footsteps of his offensive line coach Brandon Jones in earning a nomination to the Rimington watch list after Jones was selected prior to his 2006 senior season. Fellow Tech staffer, Jared Kaster, was also named to the Rimington watch list prior to his own senior campaign in 2015.
The Rimington Trophy has been presented to the nation's top center since 2000. The award is named in honor of Dave Rimington, who was a consensus first-team All-American center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982. During that time, he became the only two-time winner of the John Outland Trophy, which is presented to the nation's top interior lineman.
Stawarz and the Red Raiders open the 2018 season on Sept. 1 when Tech travels to NRG Stadium in Houston to face Ole Miss in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff. Season tickets are still on sale and can be purchased online or by calling the Tech Ticket Office at 806-742-TECH.