Pac 12 Football Line Players of the Year
The Morris Trophy is a unique award given to the outstanding offensive and defensive linemen in the Pac-12 Conference. What makes the award unique is the selection procedure, which has the starting offensive linemen in the Conference voting for the defensive winner and vice versa. It is truly a players’ award.
Kalil, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound junior from Corona, Calif., was named a first-team All-Pac-12 performer in voting by the Pac-12 head coaches, and was a member of the Walter Camp Foundation All-America team. He is a two-year starter for USC and started 12 games this season at left tackle. Behind the offensive line, the Trojans averaged 456.8 yards of total offense, while allowing only eight quarterback sacks (0.67 per game) all year – a figure that was ranked tops in the nation. Kalil strived on special teams as well, where he blocked four kicks (2 blocked PAT, 2 blocked FG attempts) this year. USC linemen have earned the offensive side of the Morris Trophy 12 times in 32 years.
Lotulelei, a 6-foot-3, 325-pound junior from South Jordan, Utah, was named first-team All-Pac-12 as selected by the Conference head coaches. He finished the regular season with 38 tackles, including a team-best 9.0 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks. Lotulelei and the Utah defensive limited the opposition to 97.0 rushing yards per game, while allowing a league-best 2.9 yards per carry. The Utes also topped the Pac-12 in red zone defense (74.3%), which contributed to a league-best 19.7 points allowed per game. Lotulelei becomes the first Utah player honored with the Morris Trophy.
The Morris Trophy is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club, the 101 club, Athletic Awards of Seattle and the Morris Trophy Foundation. It was created by Traci (Morris) Drake in 1980 and named after her father, G. Patrick Morris, who was its sponsor for 29 years. Kalil and Lotulelei will be presented their awards at a luncheon at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle on Thursday, January 19, 2012.