Each year, the Rimington Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding center in college football. And for the second straight year, Arizona’s Nathan Eldridge has found himself on the preseason watch list.
For good reason. The soon-to-be redshirt junior has started in every game for the Wildcats the last two seasons. He was a captain in 2017, when he paved the way for an Arizona rushing attack that ranked third in the nation.
In 2016, Eldridge earned the starting center position as a redshirt freshman after the unexpected passing of then-starter Zach Hemmila. Eldridge did an admirable job stepping up during a time when the team was faced with adversity, and has been steady ever since.
The Wildcats have reestablished the single-game school rushing record twice over his tenure. In 2016, Arizona broke the school rushing record when they stomped ASU, 56-35. The Wildcats registered 511 rushing yards without attempting a pass in the second half.
A year later, Arizona again rewrote the record when they rushed for 534 yards against Oregon State in a 49-28 victory. Eldridge was voted an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection, while the Associated Press named him a second-team All-Pac-12 performer.
Eldridge has been one of the younger members of Arizona’s offensive line throughout his career, but that will change in 2018, when the Wildcats have to replace three starters from a season ago.
Nine other Pac-12 centers made the watch list:
Cohl Cabral, ASU
Addison Ooms, Cal
Jake Hansen, Oregon
Sumner Houston, OSU
Jesse Burkett, Stanford
Nick Harris, UW
Frederick Mauigoa, WSU
Toa Lobendahn, USC
Lo Falemaka, Utah