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Alabama’s Ryan Kelly up for national award

Cedric Mason- Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Alabama center Ryan Kelly was named one of three finalist for the Rimington Trophy Monday afternoon, courtesy of the Rimington Trophy committee. The honor is presented annually to the nation’s top center. Kelly becomes the fourth Alabama player to be named a finalist, joining Barrett Jones (2012), Williams Vlachos (2011) and Antonie Caldwell (2008).

The senior and Cincinnati, Ohio native joins Michigan State’s Jack Allen and Iowa’s Austin Blythe as this year’s finalist.

Kelly has been solid in 34 career starts at center for Alabama. He has blocked for 34.1 points and 422.5 yards per game.

Kelly’s provided running back Derrick Henry with a monster season, blocking for 1,986 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.

Henry’s campaign for this year’s Heisman Trophy has stemmed from Kelly paving the way for nine 100-yard and four 200-yard rushing performances.

His mental toughness and sound play has been effective, as Kelly has only been called for a foul once this season.

He chimes in with eight missed assignments in 948 snaps, grading out a 99.2 percent success rate. Kelly has 16 knockdown blocks with no sacks allowed and four quarterback hurries surrendered. The Rimington Trophy will be presented Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards live from the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta at 6:30 p.m. (CT).

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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