LINCOLN – Junior Nick Gates took the first step toward adding to Nebraska’s nation-leading Outland Trophy total on Thursday, when he was named to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List Watch List.
Gates, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive tackle from Las Vegas, Nev., has anchored the Husker offensive line at tackle the past two seasons. Gates started all 13 games last year, when the Huskers lead the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed with 15. Gates also helped the NU offense post four 200-yard rushing efforts in 2016 and two games with at least 550 yards of total offense. For his efforts, he was selected as a third-time All-Big Ten performer by the conference media. As a redshirt freshman, Gates started all 10 games he played in 2015, earning a spot on BTN’s All-Bowl Team for his effort against UCLA. He was also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by ESPN.com and BTN.com.
A total of 81 players are on the initial Outland Trophy Watch list, which is presented to the top interior lineman in college football. Gates is one of 11 Big Ten players on the initial list, as the 11 Big Ten honorees tie for second among all conferences.
Eight Husker players have combined for a nation-leading nine Outland Trophies over the years, including two-time winner Dave Rimington. Ndamukong Suh was the Huskers’ most recent Outland winner, bringing home the trophy in 2009.
The Outland Trophy finalists will be announced on Nov. 21, with the winner announced on the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 7. The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 10, 2018 in Omaha.