For the third consecutive season, Louisville senior Center Mario Benavides has been named to the watch-list for the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. Benavides is one of 51 players to be named to the pre-season watch list. He has started 34-of-38 games in his Cardinal career, missing four games due to an injury.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A college football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2 million. The 12-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $100 million for CF Research. Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982.
Benavides was sidelined for the entire spring, due to an injury. A fully healthy Benavides will be crucial for Louisville this season. The offensive line returns some experience from a year ago; however Mario is without a doubt the leader of the group.
Mario is one of three Louisville players to be named to an award watch-list. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been named to the Maxwell List while corner Adrian Bushell has been named to the watch-list for the College Football Performance All Purpose Special Teams Award.