JANUARY 15, 2020 - At the Downtown DoubleTree Hotel - 16TH & DODGE ST OMAHA, NEBRASKA
Quinnen Williams, the University of Alabama defensive nose guard, the 2018 Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases was honored at the Werner Award Dinner in Omaha on Wednesday Jan. 9, 2019 at the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton.
The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) have announced a new partnership to present the 2018 Outland Trophy as part of a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of influenza (flu) prevention during the 2018-2019 flu season. Selected by FWAA since 1946, the trophy is awarded annually to the top interior lineman in college football.
In addition, Werner Enterprises, whose home offices are located in Omaha, has been named the title sponsor of the dinner, which has been produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee since 1997.
The Werner Enterprises Outland Trophy Award Dinner was held Wednesday, January 9th at 7:00 pm at the Downtown DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 16th & Dodge Streets. The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA is named after the late Dr. John Outland. A life-long football fan and athlete, Dr. Outland donated $1,000 to the Football Writers in 1946 to sponsor the award that he always lamented the lack of recognition that the lineman received even in the earliest days of the college game.
Quinnen Williams is the first of Alabama’s now five Outland Trophy winners to play on defense. The other four Crimson Tide winners – Chris Samuels (1999), Andre Smith (2008), Barrett Jones (2011) and most recently Cam Robinson (2016) were all offensive tackles. Williams was selected from a list of three finalists that included Alabama teammate Jonah Williams, an offensive tackle, and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. He is just the second sophomore to win the award, following Houston’s Ed Oliver last season.
The official presentation to the winner was made at the Werner Outland Trophy Awards Dinner produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 9, 2019.
The Outland Trophy Werner Award Dinner was a huge success. Five Past Outland Award recipients were present to welcome Quinnen to the Outland Fraternity. The University of Nebraska’s Larry Jacobson ’71, Zach Wiegert ’94, and Dave Rimington ’81, ’82, Mike Ruth ’85 and Barrett Jones ’11 were present as well as ’71 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers, Jerry Murtaugh, Alex Henry, Bob Sledge, Tim Johnk, Ryan Held, Demoine Adams, Damon Benning, Scott Frost, and many others. All helped make this a Special night.
This year as part of a public awareness campaign to help #FightFlu, the Outland Trophy will be rebranded as the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. The social media hashtag #FightFlu will be visible on all Outland Trophy advertising, marketing, social media and public relations materials. Branded content and advertising will promote the award and the public awareness campaign in Touchdown Illustrated gameday programs at more than 1,000 college football games during the 2018 season, and in most of the major bowl game programs – including the College Football Playoff – as well as most NFL gameday programs.
University of Wisconsin All-American Joe Thomas, the 2006 Outland Trophy winner who retired earlier this year after a stellar 11-year career with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, will serve as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador.
Since the Outland Trophy winners from 1946 through 1987 received only plaques – they did not receive the authentic Outland Trophy, to undo this unjustice the Downtown Omaha Rotary Club has presented Authentic Outland Trophies to the following past recipients: George Connor, Notre Dame, the first recipient (’46); Larry Jacobson, NU (’71); Rich Glover, NU (’72); Dave Rimington, NU, (’81-’82); Dean Steinkuhler, NU (’83); Mark May, University of Pittsburgh (’80); Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy (’87); Joe Steffy, West Point Military Academy (’47), Ron Yary, USC (’67), Bill Fischer, Notre Dame (’48), Lee Roy Selmon, Oklahoma (’75), J.D. Roberts, Oklahoma (’53), John Hicks, Ohio State (’73), Mike McGee, Duke (’59), Bobby Bell, University of Minnesota (’62), Loyd Phillips, University of Arkansas (’66), Jim Ritcher from North Carolina State (’79), Ross Browner from Notre Dame (’76), Randy White from Maryland (’74), Greg Roberts from University of Oklahoma (’78). This year Mike Ruth from Boston College (’85) received his Authentic Outland Trophy presented to him by his old coach and now Senior Associate AD from Boston College Barry Gallup.
Mike Ruth, ’85 Outland Trophy Award Winner finally receiving his actual Trophy.
The 5th Tom Osborne Legacy Award Sponsored by Omaha Downtown Rotary was also presented at the dinner.
The recipient is honored for exhibiting the characteristics of integrity, sportsmanship and fair play associated with Tom Osborne, and for demonstrating a record of leadership and good citizenship in the community that’s consistent with Rotary International’s primary motto, “Service Above Self.”
Frank Solich, former University of Nebraska head football coach from 1998-2003 and current Ohio University head football coach, returned to Nebraska and received a resonding welcome from audiance as he accepted the fifth annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award from his former boss.
The Amazing Night didn’t stop there, we also recognized at the dinner for the 21st straight year the Nebraska Football Senior Awards winners, the 2018 Award Winners are – the Novak Trophy – Devine Ozigbo (Running Back), the Chamberlin Trophy -Stanley Morgan Jr. (Wide Receiver) and the Cletus Fischer Native Son – Mick Stoltenberg (Defensive End). Husker Football Coach Scott Frost presented the Trophy’s and addressed the impact all of them had on the team this year. Scott also expressed to Frank Solich he is a part of the Husker Nation and is always weclomed back to another Standing Ovation.
Omaha also Hosted the 5th Annual Outland Semi-Finalists Announcement Reception Party. The Football Writers Association narrowed the search of the best linemen throughout the country to 5-8 semi-finalists, it will again next year be held at the Old Mattress Factory Downtown (501 N 13th St.), Wednesday – November 20th. The Evening begins at 7pm when Greg Sharpe via Facetime congratulates the semi-finalists and we got to see their reactions Live to being selected and their responses and interactions to Greg’s questions. Also at this Event there are door prizes and a Silent Auction! Doors open at 6pm.
As you can see, if you are a football fan you want to be a part of these events. Tickets for this Event and the Outland Dinner next year on January 8th, are on Sale and can be Reserved by calling 402.346-8003.
2018 Outland Winner
2009 Outland Winner
2017 Outland Winner
2014 Outland Winner
2016 Outland Winner
2015 Outland Winner