Dec. 12, 2001

GARDEN CITY PARK, NY – Ohio State’s LeCharles Bentley is the winner of the Dave Rimington Trophy as “College Football’s Center of the Year.”

The 6’2″, 300-pound senior, who was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, is expected to be an early pick in the 2002 NFL draft, and has played in 47 consecutive Buckeye games- the last 30 as a starter.

The award’s first runner-up is Seth McKinney of Texas A&M. He was followed by Kyle Young of Clemson(third), who also was a finalist in 2000.

The Rimington Trophy recipient is determined by a consensus of the six All-America teams that have College Football Hall of Fame accreditation: The Walter Camp Football Foundation, America Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Associated Press, “The Football News” and “The Sporting News.”

Bentley, who was born and reared in Cleveland, Ohio was the first-team center selected on five of those All-America teams. His last college game will be on January 1, when Ohio State meets South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and ’82 – years in which he became theJohn Outland Trophy’s only double winner as the nation’s premiere college interiorlineman. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

The two-year old trophy (Nebraska’s Dominic Raiola was its first recipient) is presented by sponsor Canon, USA,Inc. and hosted by the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Esiason, a former NFL quarterback created in his foundation in 1993 to support research and treatment of cystic fibrosis. His 10 year-old son has that deadly genetic disease. Esiason and Rimington were teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals from 1984-87.

Bentley will be honored at a presentation banquet at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska, on December 15. Proceeds from that event will benefit the Nebraska Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.