A defensive lineman grabbing a fumble and rumbling 71 yards for a touchdown. A tackle leaping into the air, snagging a tipped ball, and catapulting into the end zone. An offensive lineman getting his number called on a trick play, punctuated by a gymnastic feat for the ages. Any time LaQuan McGowan gets the ball.
These rare moments provide us with joy and wonder, but we've never had a trophy to acknowledge the best of them.
We at SB Nation intend to change that by handing out the first-ever award to honor the greatest out-of-the-ordinary play by a lineman in the 2015 season: the Piesman Trophy.
Q: Is this real?
One hundred percent. We're having a very nice trophy made, organizing a committee of top-notch voters, and hosting a banquet (with pie, naturally) at the end of the year to present the Piesman to one deserving winner.
Q: What are the Piesman eligibility requirements?
The Piesman Trophy will be awarded for the best play in which a lineman throws, catches, or runs with the ball, because those are things linemen don't usually do. The play can come from any level of college football, from FBS to Division III.
Q: Who's on your voting committee?
We have 24 voters. Six are SB Nation representatives. In alphabetical order:
- Jane Coaston
- Spencer Hall
- Jason Kirk
- Rodger Sherman
- Stephen White, who happens to be a former NFL defensive lineman
- Luke Zimmermann
The other 18? Glad you asked.
- Kay Adams, NBC Sports Network
- Holly Anderson, Grantland
- Joel Anderson, BuzzFeed
- Nicole Auerbach, USA Today
- Kerith Burke, SNY
- Ty Hildenbrandt, The Solid Verbal
- Amanda Kludt, Eater
- Paul Myerberg, USA Today
- Katie Nolan, FOX Sports 1
- Chip Patterson, CBS Sports
- Chris Plante, The Verge
- Martin Rickman, Uproxx Sports
- Ralph Russo, Associated Press
- Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants
- Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated
- Andrew Steinthal, The Infatuation
- Pablo Torre, ESPN
- Lang Whitaker, NBA.com
Q: How are you finding these plays?
We'll watch for them, but we encourage you to send us outstanding lineman feats. Tag them with #PIESMAN on Twitter or Instagram, and we'll add them to the list.
Q. Is the NCAA going to be cool with this?
Q: When will the trophy be presented?
The ceremony will take place in New York City on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Purely by coincidence, this happens to be the day before the Heisman is given out. Our finalists will be announced on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015.
Q: And you said there will be pie?
It'd be rude to call this award the Piesman Trophy and not serve pie.
Q: Is there a watch list?
There is a watch list.
Alex Lewis: OL, Nebraska.
Andrew Billings: DT, Baylor. Watch him running 25 yards to catch a freaking running back.
Averee Robinson: DL, Temple. Got off to a hot start last year with a fumble recovery for a score against Vanderbilt.
Billy Price: OL, Ohio State. Dude has a freaking cannon.
Brandon Greene, TE*, Alabama. You might remember his overtime trick play against LSU.
Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson. Yeah, blocking a PAT and running it the entire length of the field will get you on this list.
David Dean: DT, Virginia.
Deonte' Davis: DL, Presbyterian College. Won a game for the Blue Hose with an interception returned for a touchdown.
Donavon Clark: OL, Michigan State. Caught a pass and took off running in the spring game.
Eddie Vanderdoes: DT, UCLA.
Elijah Grady: OL, North Dakota. Watch his high school tape and feel terrible for everyone he faced.
Eric Mac Lain: OL, Clemson.
Eric Olson: OL, Northwestern. Henry Bushnell of InsideNU asked Northwestern lineman Geoff Mogus for two candidates and he picked Olson and Ian Park. (His only stated reason was a hunch, but that works.)
Evan Boehm: C, Missouri.
Evan Mulrooney: OL, Maryland.
Hunter Long: OL, Georgia. Nominated by former Georgia lineman Watts Dantzler.
Ian Park: OL, Northwestern.
Jack Allen: C, Michigan State. Scored a touchdown in the spring game.
Jack Jones: OL, Tennessee.
Jacob Hyde: DT, Kentucky. The Wildcats are going to give him time at fullback, and we heartily endorse this move.
Jason Spriggs: OL, Indiana. Definitely an early favorite should we expand this award to basketball.
Jeremy Liggins: TE/OL*, Ole Miss.
LaQuan McGowan: TE*, Baylor. See, we listened, all 186 of you that nominated him!
Mason Halter: OL, Florida. Transferred from Fordham, where he was used as a pass-catcher.
Matt Elam: DT, Kentucky.
Max Chapman: DL, Northwestern.
Montravius Adams: DT, Auburn.
Nate Terhune: DL, Kent State. This fake punt that turns into a 61-yard touchdown run is pure joy.
Ronnie Stanley: OL, Notre Dame.
Sebastian Tretola: OL, Arkansas. If there's one fan base that's pushed hardest for a retroactive Piesman, it's Arkansas fans, based on this touchdown pass from Tretola.
Shilique Calhoun: DE, Michigan State.
Thomas Marchman: OL, Mercer. We imagine he's been working on even more elaborate and acrobatic touchdown celebrations.
Todd Collins: OL, Gallaudet.
A photo posted by Gallaudet Bison (@gallaudetbison) on
Tyler Johnstone: OL, Oregon.
Willie Henry: DT, Michigan.
Wyatt Teller: OL, Virginia Tech. We don't give bonus points for hair, but if we did? Hoooo boy.
Zachary Crabtree: OL, Oklahoma State.
*These players are listed as tight ends, but we've made the decision to grandfather them in as eligible because, at some point, they've been listed as linemen. If you feel strongly that this was an error, remember: watch lists don't really mean anything.