Fry named to Outland Trophy watch list

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

CLEMSON, S.C. — Being the best college football lineman is a matter of opinion. It’s the opinion of the Football Writers Association of America that Clemson’s Roman Fry should be on the ballot.

Fry, the former Ironton All-Ohio lineman under coach Bob Lutz, has been named as one of the top 54 offensive and defensive linemen on the Outland Trophy preseason watch list.

“I was excited. It proves that the hard work pays off. It says a lot about hard work and dedication,” Fry said.

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“And you’re happy to represent Ironton. Getting to play for coach (Bob) Lutz. Coach (Mike) Burcham and line coach (Lou) Mains helped me a lot. They gave me the basics I needed before I went to college.”

The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Fry was a second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference last season and is a preseason first team selection by The Sporting News and Lindy’s Magazine. The redshirt senior is ranked the eighth best offensive guard by Lindy’s.

Although Fry is listed as a guard, he has played center and tackle for the Tigers.

Last season, Fry led the team in knockdown block in the last seven games with 85 including 18 knockdowns in a win over No. 16 Florida State.

Fry was voted Clemson’s top offensive lineman of the week on five different occasions last year and he finished the year with 98.5 knockdown blocks.

Fry is one of five ACC players named to the Outland Trophy watch.

“We have a great offensive line. It’s nice to get an honor, but as a team player I’m just representing my guys. We do things as group,” Fry said.

The Outland Trophy has been awarded to the best offensive or defensive lineman in college football every year since 1946 when Norte Dame All-American George Connor received the award named for John Outland who was a Pennsylvania lineman at the turn of the century.

During his three-year varsity career at Ironton, Fry helped Ironton to a 31-7 record, three playoff appearances and a Division IV runner-up in 1999.

Last year’s winner was Minnesota center Greg Eslinger.

The winner is selected by the Football Writers Association All-American committee which selects a 25-man All-American team, too.

The three finalists for the Outland Trophy will come from the All-American team selections.

Winner of the award will be named on Dec. 7 on the ESPN Home Deport College Football Awards Show.