May 21, 2011 at 1:19 AM EST - Updated June 24 at 3:29 AM
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - University of South Carolina junior center T.J. Johnson is one of 42 players named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List. The Rimington Trophy recognizes the nation's top offensive center.
Johnson, a 6-4, 314-pounder from Aynor, S.C., has started every game over the past two seasons for the Garnet & Black. He started all 13 contests at right guard as a redshirt freshman in 2009 and all 14 games at center as a sophomore in 2010. Last season he was named first-team All-SEC by Rivals.com and earned second team honors from Phil Steele. He was also named second-team All-Sophomore by CollegeFootballNews.com.
Johnson also excels in the classroom. He was one of three players named a Harold White GPA Award winner at the 2011 Garnet & Black Spring Game and earned a spot on the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
While more than a dozen All-America football teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these four prestigious teams to determine a winner:
-American Football Coaches Association
-Walter Camp Foundation
-Football Writers Association of America
Because the selectors of these four 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 committee's policy is to count all players that play primarily the Center position for their respective teams as Centers, even though they maybe listed as guards or tackles on the four All-American 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 most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the Rimington Trophy committee.
The winner will be honored at Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 14, 2012.