With the 2014 season still months away, it's time to start looking at some future impact players. One of those players, Texas Longhorns center Dominic Espinosa has been named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's best center.
After redshirting his freshman season, Espinosa started 26 straight games for the Longhorns over the past two years. He is the first Longhorn to be nominated for the trophy since Chris Hall in 2009 (though he was also on the watch list last year), and was an integral part of Texas' 2012 offensive line that limited opponents to 1.2 sacks and 4.1 tackles-for-loss per game (17th-best and 3rd-best in the nation, respectively). Espinosa was also one of the few bright spots in Texas' 2013 season -- he was given an honorable mention on the 2013 All-Big 12 team.
Espinosa joins Kansas State's B.J. Finney, Oklahoma's Ty Darlington, TCU's Joey Hunt, and Iowa State's Tom Farniok as one of five Big 12 centers named to the list. A Big 12 player has not won the award since 2000, when Nebraska center Dominic Raiola took home the coveted prize.