Mohammed Elewonibi, a 290-pound guard from Brigham Young University, was named winner today of the Outland Trophy as the outstanding college football lineman in America.
Elewonibi, a native of Nigeria who never played high school football, is the second BYU player to win the Outland in the last four years. Jason Buck, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, captured the award in 1986.
“Moe’s as good a lineman as we’ve ever had here,” BYU Coach LaVell Edwards said of Elewonibi, who immigrated to Canada from Nigeria when he was 11.
“I came to football by a flip of the coin in junior college,” Elewonibi said. “I was playing soccer and the coach saw me and took me over to football. In Utah, there’s nothing to do but play football and raise turkeys.”
Elewonibi beat out center Michael Tanks of Florida State and nose tackle Moe Gardner of Illinois in the voting by members of the Football Writers Assn. of America. The vote was not released.
The award is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of North America.