Duff Tittle | Posted: 4 Aug 2023 | Updated: 7 Aug 2023

Pay selected to the Rimington Trophy watchlist for a second year

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Connor Pay 2023 Rimington Trophy

NEW YORK — BYU center Connor Pay was named Friday to the 2023 Rimington Trophy preseason watchlist. The prestigious trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football.

The Rimington Trophy committee worked closely with Pro Football Focus to narrow down its preseason watch list to the top 40 centers in Division I football, based on nominations from the schools and extensive data from previous seasons provide by PFF.

Pay, from Highland, Utah, was recently named to the 2023 PFF Preseason All-Big 12 Third Team and the Athlon Sports Preseason All-Big 12 Fourth Team. The 6-5, 305-pound sophomore started 12 of 13 games for the Cougars in 2022, was a candidate for the Rimington Trophy and was named College Network All-Independent First Team. 

As a Covid freshman in 2021, Pay earned a starting role at right guard for the Cougars, before taking over the center position the final five games of the season for injured starter James Empey. At the conclusion of the 2021 season, the BYU offensive line was named Pro Football Network Offensive Line of the Year, allowing just 15 total sacks all year. Pay has played in 25 of 26 games with 23 starts over the past two seasons.

Pay holds a 3.78 GPA in entrepreneurial management and was named CSC Academic All-District in November 2022.

The Rimington Trophy is named after Dave Rimington, a two-time Consensus All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982. As a junior and senior, Rimington became the only two-time winner of the John Outland Trophy, presented annually to college football’s top interior lineman.

At the conclusion of the 2023 season, the Rimington Trophy committee will use three prestigious All-America teams to determine a winner—Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America. The center with the most first-team All-America votes will be awarded the Trophy.

The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes many of college football’s most prestigious awards. The recipient of the 2023 Rimington Trophy will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN in December. 

Rimington Trophy preseason Watch List

Miami (FL) Matthew Lee RS Sr
Florida State  Maurice Smith  RS Jr
Clemson Will  Putnam  Grad
NC State  Dylan McMahon  RS Jr
Duke    Jacob Monk Grad
Louisville  Bryan Hudson RS Sr
Pittsburgh  Jake Kradel  RS Sr
Arkansas  Beaux Limmer RS Sr
Alabama  Seth McLaughlin  Sr
Georgia  Sedrick Van Pran  RS So
Mississippi State  Cole Smith  Grad
Tennessee Cooper Mays  Sr
Texas A&M  Bryce Foster  So
BIG 12    
West Virginia  Zach Frazier  Jr
Baylor  Clark Barrington  Grad
BYU  Connor Pay  Jr
Texas Tech  Rusty Staats  Sr
Houston  Jack Freeman  Sr
Kansas  Mike Novitsky RS  Sr
Texas  Jake Majors  Jr
TCU John Lanz  Sr
Michigan  Drake Nugent  Grad
Michigan State  Nick Samac  Sr
Purdue  Gus Hartwig  Sr
Iowa  Logan Jones  Jr
Nebraska  Ben Scott  Jr
PAC 12    
Oregon State  Jake Levengood  RS Sr
USC  Justin Dedich  RS Sr
Oregon  Jackson Powers-Johnson  Jr
UCLA  Duke Clemens  Sr
Washington  Matteo Mele  Sr
California  Matthew Cindric  Sr
Conference USA    
UAB  Brady Wilson  RS Jr
UTEP  Andrew Meyer  RS Sr
SMU  Branson Hickman  Jr
Memphis  Jacob Likes  RS Sr
Tulane  Sincere Haynesworth  Sr
Notre Dame  Zeke Correll  Sr
Western Michigan  Jacob Gideon  Jr
Sun Belt    
Appalachian State  Isaiah Helms  Sr

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