DALLAS, Tx. (WBKO) --- Senior offensive tackle Miles Pate has been named to the 2019 Outland Trophy Award Watch List, the Football Writers Association of America announced. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native — who has appeared in 34 games with 19 starts over his WKU career — is 1-of-83 student-athletes to be listed among the "best interior linemen in college football," including only 1-of-3 from Conference USA.
As a redshirt junior, Pate started all 12 games and played 893-of-898 offensive snaps at the right tackle position. He led C-USA right tackles with a +21.8 overall cumulative rating by PFF College’s Signature Stats, which included +9.5 for pass blocking and +8.9 for run blocking. Pate ranked second among C-USA tackles with a 79.1 rating by PFF College’s Premium Stats; his 73.6 run block rating was second, while his 78.6 pass block rating stood fourth. Overall, he was called for only one penalty all season.
Pate was recently voted to the All-CUSA Preseason Team and appeared as No. 40 on national college football writer Bruce Feldman's "Freaks List" with the following write-up that featured some of his physical skills:
"Similar to former Western Kentucky standout Forrest Lamp, Pate plays tackle but projects as an interior lineman at the next level. The 6-2, 314-pounder will be a three-year starter thanks to his terrific agility. He has a 31.5-inch vertical. His 4.50 short shuttle would have tied for second-best among O-linemen at this year’s NFL Combine. His 1.77 10-yard split also would have been one of the better times in the position group. WKU strength coach Jason Veltkamp says Pate moves like 290-pound Patriots lineman Joe Thuney (whom Veltkamp coached at N.C. State), but it’s even more freakish when you account for the fact that Pate is 314."
The Outland Trophy, now in its 74th year, is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.
The winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
The Hilltoppers, under the direction of first-year head coach Tyson Helton, kick off the 2019 season at home on Thursday, August 29 vs. Central Arkansas. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.