Hakeem Adeniji and Daniel Wise selected for the 2018 Outland Trophy preseason watch list
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas junior offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji and senior defensive lineman Daniel Wise were honored Tuesday as the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced the preseason watch list for the 2018 Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).
This is the first year of a partnership with the NFID to present the Outland Trophy as part of a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of influenza (flu) prevention during the 2018-19 flu season. The award honoring the top interior lineman in college football will continue to be selected by the FWAA membership and has been rebranded as the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases with a social media hashtag of #FightFlu.
University of Wisconsin All-American Joe Thomas, the 2006 Outland Trophy winner who retired earlier this year after a stellar 11-year career with NFL’s Cleveland Browns, will serve as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador. Thomas has been an avid supporter of annual flu vaccines. He will make media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind people to get their annual flu shots.
Additionally, Thomas will announce the recipient of the 73rd Outland Trophy during ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6, live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Werner Enterprises Outland Trophy Awards Dinner produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee on Jan. 9, 2019. Up to seven semifinalists will be named on Nov. 14 in Omaha and three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19.
Adeniji, who hails from Garland, Texas, has started in each of his 24 games of his Jayhawk career. While playing both right and left tackle, Adeniji has been the most consistent presence on the offensive line for KU, grading out near the top each and every week.
Adeniji is a two-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honoree. He picked up Freshman All-Big 12 First Team honors from Phil Steele Magazine in 2016 and All-Big 12 Third Team honors from the same publication in 2017. He enters 2018 being recognized as a Preseason All-Big 12 Third Team member by Athlon Sports.
A Lewisville, Texas native, Wise had one of the best seasons of any defensive lineman in the Big 12 in 2017 as he turned in 16.0 tackles-for-loss, including 7.0 sacks. His 16.0 TFLs ranked second in the Big 12 in 2017 and 11th in the FBS rankings. Wise’s 7.0 sacks ranked fourth in the Big 12 and tied for 44th in the FBS.
Wise earned First Team All-Big 12 honors from the conference coaches and the Waco Tribune-Herald to go along with Second Team All-Big 12 recognition from the Associated Press in 2017. He recorded 53 total tackles, one forced fumble, one pass breakup and five quarterback hurries to go along with his sacks and TFLs.
In addition to being considered for the Outland Trophy, Wise is on the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, and was tabbed preseason All-Big 12 First Team by both the media covering the league and Athlon Sports.
KU will begin the 2018 season on September 1 vs. Nicholls State. Jayhawk great Chris Harris Jr., will enter the Ring of Honor during KU’s opener versus NSU, and the 2008 Insight Bowl team will also be celebrated.
The Jayhawks will also host nonconference opponent Rutgers (Sept. 15/Family Weekend, Childhood Cancer Awareness) as Todd Reesing, who owns 14 school records and is one of the most decorated players in Kansas history, will have his name etched next to other Jayhawk legends in the Ring of Honor.
Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State (Sept. 29/Homecoming, K-Club Weekend), TCU (Oct. 27/Jayhawks for a Cure), Iowa State (Nov. 3/Salute to Service) and Texas (Nov. 23/Senior Day) will each visit Lawrence during the 2018 campaign.
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