This is the time of year when we remind you that watch lists are meaningless. A player not being recognized as one of the top players at his position in May is no reason to fret. He can always play his way into consideration for a certain award.
Northwestern center Brandon Vitabile has already grabbed the attention of the Rimington Trophy committee. The rising senior was one of 64 centers listed Monday on the Rimington’s committee’s initial watch list. The winner of the trophy, to be announced on January 17, 2015, will be the consensus All-American center pick from three All-America teams: Sporting News, Football Writers Association of America and the Walter Camp Foundation.
It’s no surprise to see Vitabile make the cut. He’s started 38 consecutive games for the Wildcats and was named All-Big Ten honorable mention by coaches and media last season. Over three seasons as a starter, as different tackles and guards have shuffled in and out, Vitabile has been one of the most consistent players on Northwestern’s offense.
The line could undergo a few more changes in 2014, depending on how position battles shake out in preseason camp, but there’s no doubt who’ll be starting at center. Vitabile probably won’t win the Rimington, but he does deserve to be recognized as one of the better centers in the country.
Another Rimington watch list will be released in July or August.