Dec. 12, 2011
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USC junior offensive tackle Matt Kalil and Utah junior defensive tackle Star Lotulelei have been named winners of the 32nd annual Morris Trophy.
The Morris Trophy is awarded annually to the Pac-12's top offensive lineman as selected by the league's starting defensive linemen and vice versa.
Kalil, a 2-year starter at left tackle, was named a 2011 All-American first teamer by Walter Camp, Pro Football Weekly and YahooSports.com/Rivals.com and he made the 2011 All-Pac-12 first team. He was a 2011 Lombardi Award semifinalist and was named USC's 2011 Offensive Lineman of the Year. He helped the Trojans average 456.8 yards of total offense, while allowing only 8 quarterback sacks (a figure that ranks tops in the nation). He also excelled on special teams, where he blocked four kicks this year (2 blocked PATs, 2 blocked field goal attempts).
Kalil becomes the 16th Trojan offensive or defensive lineman to win the Morris Trophy, including the 12th offensive lineman. Most recently, offensive tackle Tyron Smith won it in 2010.
Kalil's brother, Ryan, now a starting center with the Carolina Panthers, won the Morris Trophy in 2006 as a senior at USC. The Kalils are just the third brothers to earn All-American first team honors in USC history, along with Marlin and Mike McKeever and Clay and Bruce Matthews.
Like Kalil, Lotulelei was named to the All-Pac-12 first team in 2011. He finished the regular season with 38 tackles, including a team-best 9.0 tackles for loss. He helped Utah's defene limit the opposition to 97.0 rushing yards per game and a league-best 19.7 points allowed per game. Lotulelei becomes the first Utah player honored with the Morris Trophy.
The Morris Trophy is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club, the 101 club, Athletic Awards of Seattle and the Morris Trophy Foundation. It was created by Traci (Morris) Drake in 1980 and named after her father, G. Patrick Morris, who was its sponsor for 29 years.
Kalil and Lotulelei will be presented their awards at a luncheon at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle on Jan. 19, 2012.