Alabama and LSU are used to clashing on the field and battling for recruits. Now, their centers are going head-to-head for a national award.
Alabama senior Bradley Bozeman and LSU junior Will Clapp are two of the three finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the best center in college football.
Congratulations to the three centers selected as #RimingtonTrophy finalists:
— Rimington Trophy (@rimingtontrophy) December 4, 2017
Ohio State’s Billy Price is the third finalist.
Last season’s award went to another Buckeyes center, Pat Elflein, now with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.
Bozeman, who has started at center for the past two seasons and has 28 career starts, has been an anchor on an Alabama line that has been among the nation’s most consistent. He could become the third Crimson Tide center to win the award in six years, following in the path of Barrett Jones (2012) and Ryan Kelly (2015).
Clapp, a third-year starter, moved to center from guard this year following the graduation of Ethan Pocic, who was a Rimington finalist in 2016. Clapp is aiming to become LSU’s second Rimington winner, following 2004 selection Ben Wilkerson.
It’s possible that the SEC might have had a clean sweep of the finalists if not for the injury to Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, the preseason favorite for the award. Ragnow sustained a season-ending high ankle sprain on October 21 in a loss to Auburn, cutting his season short after seven games.
Five of the past 10 Rimington winners have come from the conference. In addition to Jones and Kelly, other SEC winners of the award include Jonathan Luigs of Arkansas in 2007, Maurkice Pouncey of Florida in 2009 and Reese Dismukes of Auburn in 2014.
The trophy will be presented January 13.
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