Alabama senior Ryan Kelly, a 2011 Lakota West graduate, won the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center.
Kelly won the award Thursday night after being one of three finalists. Michigan State’s Jack Allen and Iowa’s Austin Blythe were the other finalists. Kelly was on the Rimington Trophy Watch List in 2014 as a junior.
“I talked to him last night and he is just so humble about the whole thing,” Lakota West coach Larry Cox told Cincinnati.com Thursday night. “I’m so excited for him. He is such a class act and we are so proud.”
Alabama plays Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in the College Football Playoff Semifinal Game Dec. 31.
Kelly, selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team and a Coaches All-SEC Team selection, was recently named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
The anchor of the Alabama offensive line, Kelly has made all offensive line calls during his 34 career starts, according to the Alabama athletic department. He has graded out at an average of 88.4 percent, including five games over 90 percent, and has not graded out below 84 percent all season. Kelly only missed eight assignments in 948 snaps for a success rate of 99.2 percent and has 16 knockdown blocks from his center position.
He also has not allowed a sack this season and only surrendered four quarterback hurries. Kelly has helped clear a path for 208.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks 27th nationally and third in the SEC.
He blocked for nine 100-yard games by Derrick Henry, including a school-record four games over 200 yards. He has only committed one penalty all season and has not been called for holding.
Kelly finished his last class Monday for his Master’s degree, Cox said. He flies out Friday morning to Philadelphia to watch the Army vs. Navy game in which his younger brother junior LB Mike Kelly will play for Navy.