The Outland Trophy, awarded to the top interior lineman in college football each year, released its watchlist on Friday, and the Football Writers of America Assn, which selects the winner, has its eyes on a trio of Bruins.
UCLA center Jake Brendel and defensive linemen Kenny Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes were named to the 81-man list that features 12 players from the Pac-12 Conference.
Brendel, a redshirt senior from Plano, Texas, was named to the Rimington Trophy watchlist last week. The team co-captain was second-team all-conference last season and has started 39 of the last 40 games in the middle of the UCLA offensive line.
Clark has been named to the Bednarik and Nagurski watchlists. The 6-foot-3, 308-pound junior defensive tackle made 58 tackles last season with 5 1/2 going for a loss.
Vanderdoes, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound junior from Placer, Calif., wasn't far behind Clark, tallying 50 tackles with 5 1/2 for a loss. He also pulled down the quarterback twice for sacks and scored a rushing touchdown on the offensive side of the ball.
Clark and Vanderdoes clogged the middle for a UCLA defense that held opponents to only 3.8 yards per carry last season.
UCLA has twice won the award, with offensive tackles Kris Farris (1999) and Jonathan Ogden (1995) claiming the honor.
The Bruins are set to open training camp Aug. 10 in Clark's hometown of San Bernardino, and open the season Sept. 5 against Virginia at the Rose Bowl.