The D Zone

Monday, July 17, 2017

4 Michigan graduates selected for 3 college football award watchlists

To close out the first week of awards, a pair of Western Michigan offensive lineman were selected for the Outland Trophy Watchlist.  The Oatland Trophy is awarded to the country's best college football interior lineman.  Southfield / Western Michigan OL Chukwuma Okorafor and East Kentwood / Western Michigan OL John Keenoy were both selected for the watchlist.  Keenoy earlier in the week was selected for the Rimington Award watchlist.

Keenoy received 5 MAC offers out of high school before committing in April of his junior year and he eventually enrolled early at Western Michigan.  Keenoy has started all 26 games since his true freshman year at Western Michigan at Center.  Also Keenoy anchored the OL that was ranked as the #4 overall offensive line by Pro Football Focus.

Chukwuma Okorafor committed to WMU over San Diego State and never wavered his commitment despite offers from; Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and others.   Okorafor started the last 27 games for the Broncos.  In 2016 at Left Tackle and 2015 at Right Tackle.

Robichaud / Western Michigan DB/KR Darius Phillips was selected for the Paul Hornung Award Watchlist.   The award is rewarded to the most versatile and high-level performer in major college football.  Phillips who is now a redshirt-senior has made a name for himself with his explosive special teams returning abilities, was also selected for the watchlist last year.  Phillips is no slouch at CB either as he had 3 interceptions returned for touchdowns in 2016.

New Lothrop / Central Michigan CB Amari Coleman was selected for the Jim Thorpe Award watchlist which is given to the country's best defensive back.  Coleman entered CMU as an athlete and after starting out at kick return where he led the team in yardage and was 2nd in punt return yards, he carved out his role as a solid CB for the Chippewas in his sophomore and junior seasons. Coleman in the past 2 years started all, but 1 game which was due to injury.  Coleman had 4 interceptions in 2016, 2 were returned for touchdowns and led the MAC with 15 pass deflections.

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