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Ohio State center Pat Elflein selected as Outland Trophy finalist

The center’s return to Columbus continues to pay off.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With the season winding down, a number of organizations named their award’s finalists on Monday. Amongst the finalists for the prestigious Outland Trophy is Ohio State senior center Pat Elflein.

The award is given to the best interior lineman in college football on either side of the ball. The voting is done by members of the Football Writers Association of America.

A two-time All-Big Ten first-teamer, Elflein turned down a solid draft grade last year to return to Columbus for his senior season. In doing so he moved from guard to center, and has been one of the most important stabilizing forces for the otherwise inexperienced offense this season. Behind Elflein and the rest of the offensive line, the Buckeyes rank eighth nationally in rushing yards per game at 263.1.

Joining Elflein as a finalist is Washington State offensive guard Cody O’Connell and Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

The last Buckeye to win the award was Hall of Famer Orlando Pace in 1996 en route to finishing second in the Heisman voting.

The trophy will be awarded as part of the on The Home Depot College Football Awards show on December 8th. The ceremony will be broadcast on ESPN.