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BYU Football Standout James Empey Named To Rimington Trophy Watch List

Oct 14, 2020, 1:42 PM

BYU center James Empey prepares to snap the ball to quarterback Zach Wilson during warmups in Provo...

BYU center James Empey prepares to snap the ball to quarterback Zach Wilson during warmups in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (Jeff Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeff Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU junior center James Empey has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list. A college football award that is given annually to College Football’s best center.

Empey, a 6-foot-4, 303-pound junior, was a Freshman All-America selection in 2018 and also a Rimington Trophy Watch List honoree in 2019. He has started BYU’s first two games, helping the Cougars average more than 600 yards against Navy and Troy. Empey has started 28 games at center in his career for BYU.

Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only two-time winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman.

James Empey nearing a return for BYU Football

The past two weeks have seen Empey sidelined due to an injury. He’s getting closer to a return from his injury that saw him in a boot two weeks ago, according to both head coach Kalani Sitake and offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes.

A native of American Fork, Empey has started in 28 games during his three seasons at BYU and has consistently been one of the highest-graded college football centers by Pro Football Focus. This season, Empey has played in 127 snaps and has yet to give up a sack.

BYU is currently 4-0 and ranked No. 13 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Standout James Empey Named To Rimington Trophy Watch List