KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee junior Coleman Thomas has been named to the 2016 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy, as announced by the Rimington Trophy Committee on Wednesday.

Thomas, who has garnered 2016 Lindy’s Sports Preseason Second Team All-SEC honors, was previously named to the 2016 Spring Watch List for the Rimington Trophy in May.

The 2016 Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List includes top centers in Division I football. After careful consideration during the offseason and spring practices, representatives from Division I football programs across the country submitted nominations to the Rimington Trophy Committee and the watch list was created. These athletes are projected to excel at the center position in the upcoming season.

As the season progresses, the Rimington Trophy Committee will continue to watch all players listed below and will announce its finalists on Dec. 5.

Thomas made 12 of his 13 starts in 2015 at center, helping to pave the way for a Vols offense that averaged 422.3 yards per game and 223.7 yards rushing (second in SEC) per game. Tennessee had 200-plus rushing yards in nine games and 500-plus yards of offense in three games. UT capped an incredible season on the ground, rushing for the second-most yards in program history (2,908). Only the 1951 National Champion Vols rushed for more yards (3,068) in a single season.

While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee used these three prestigious teams to determine a winner:

– Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)

– Sporting News (SN)

– Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

Because the selectors of these three All-America teams can place centers in a “mix” of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11- man first teams can often have two centers. The Rimington Trophy committee’s policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the All-America teams.

The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy committee. The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017.

About the Rimington Trophy

The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.6 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $120 million for the fight against cystic fibrosis.

Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only double winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman.