Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey was placed on the watch list for the Outland Trophy on Tuesday. The award has been given to the most accomplished offensive or defensive interior lineman in the college football every year since 1946. Morrissey is Pitt’s only representative on the 83-man watch list, and the school’s last recipient of the trophy was Aaron Donald in 2013. Panthers lineman Mark May also won the Outland Trophy in 1980.
Morrissey is one of 14 centers and 10 ACC players included on the watch list. The other nine ACC players include Benjamin Petrula of Boston College, Tremayne Anchrum and John Simpson of Clemson, Mekhi Becton of Louisville, Charlie Heck of North Carolina, Larrell Murchison of NC State, Doug Costin and Navaughn Donaldson of Miami, and Justin Herron of Wake Forest.
The 6’3”, 305-pound center was vital to Pitt’s successful ACC Coastal title run in 2018, and the impact he made could be seen in the team’s performance, which lagged toward the end of the season without him on the field. In Pitt’s final three games of the regular season, all of which were played without Morrissey, the Panthers averaged 8.7 points and 247.7 yards per game. In the four games prior, all of which he played in, the Panthers offense averaged 40.8 points and 518.3 yards.
Morrissey missed the end of the 2018 season after suffering an injury to his right ankle against Wake Forest on Nov. 17, 2018. The injury came at the end of a six-yard touchdown run by then-Pitt left tackle Stefano Millin.
This is the Pitt center’s second preseason accolade, as he also made the Dave Rimington Trophy watch list. Pitt’s other preseason honorees include Damar Hamlin, who is on the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, and Maurice Ffrench, who made the preseason All-ACC team and the Maxwell Award watch list.