Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Idaho's Iupati Added to Outland Trophy Watch List

University of Idaho senior guard Mike Iupati has earned the honor of being chosen to the 2009 Outland Trophy Watch List. The Outland Trophy is awarded annually to the player regarded as the best interior lineman in the country.

Iupati begins his third season as a starter for the Vandals, although he missed the first two games of the 2008 season as he recovered from off-season shoulder surgery.

"He'll be one of the top linemen in the country," coach Robb Akey said. "He's a fantastic leader, very physical and a tremendous person."

Iupati, 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, moved to the U.S. from American Samoa when he was 14 and didn't play American football until he was 14. He and Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith are the only Western Athletic Conference players on the list.

The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century, will be announced on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10 at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Side Note: Mike Iupati, from Samoa, didn't begin playing football until he was 14-years-old.

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