USC Football: Rasheem Green named to 2017 Outland Trophy watch list

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Defensive tackle Rasheem Green
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Defensive tackle Rasheem Green

USC defensive lineman Rasheem Green was named to the 2017 Outland Trophy watch list as one of the top interior linemen in the country.

The annual watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded each year by the FWAA to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman, was released on Thursday with USC’s Rasheem Green making the cut.

Since arriving at USC as a five-star recruiting prospect, Green has steadily lifted his profile. He served as an exciting backup in 2015 then broke into the starting lineup in 2016 as a sophomore.

Leading USC in sacks and the Pac-12 in blocked kicks, he was named a Campus Insiders Sophomore All-American honorable mention.

Thanks to an increasingly bright finish to the 2016 campaign, when he played a key role in USC’s turnaround, Green now looks on the verge of a national breakout.

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Green is the only Trojan included on the Outland Trophy watch list, which is a slight surprise considering the veteran presence of senior offensive guard Viane Talamaivao, who is set to start his fourth season on the offensive line. Other potential candidates who did not make the list include centers Nico Falah and Toa Lobendahn.

Last year a trio of Trojans were added to the watch list, including Zach Banner, Chad Wheeler and Damien Mama. The former two went on to receive All-American honors but none advanced to the semifinalist stage.

The semifinalists for 2017 will be named on November 15, with the finalists whittled down soon after on November 21. The winner of this year’s Outland Trophy will be announced on December 7 during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

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Despite producing plenty of offensive and defensive line talent, USC hasn’t had a finalist for the Outland Trophy since 1994 when Tony Boselli was the runner-up to Nebraska’s Zach Wiegert. The Trojans’ lone winner in the long history of the award is Ron Yary in 1967.