It’s just that kind of season for Johnny Newton.
Illinois’ star defensive tackle was named Wednesday a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to college football’s best interior lineman.
Newton is the second Illini ever to be named a semifinalist for the honor. He’s the first since Moe Gardner in 1989.
Seven players are up for the award:
- OL Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
- DT Jer’Zahn Newton, Illinois
- DT T’Vondre Sweat, Texas
- OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame
- G Zak Zinter, Michigan
- C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
- G Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State
This season Newton has 42 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. He also blocked three kicks and leads the country in QB pressures (39).