The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best United States college football interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America. It is named after John H. Outland. One of only a few players ever to be named All-America at two positions, Outland garnered consensus All-America honors in 1898 at tackle and consensus All-America honors at halfback in 1899. The past five winners are Luke Joeckel (2012), Barrett Jones (2011), Gabe Carimi (2010), Ndamukong Suh (2009; drafted 2nd overall), and Andre Smith (2008; drafted 6th overall).
In the fall of 1895, John Outland entered the University of Kansas. He had previously played football for two seasons and had been team captain at William Penn in Iowa. While watching practice one afternoon at Kansas, he was seen by the varsity captain who induced him to put on a uniform. Three days later, he was playing on the varsity team. After a 6–1 season, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he found his home. From 1897–99, Outland and Hall of Fame teammate Truxton Hare led Penn to a 35–4–3 record. Outland obtained his medical degree and was a surgeon during World War I, rising to the rank of major. He tried his hand at coaching at Franklin & Marshall College in 1900, Kansas in 1901, and Washburn 1904–05.
Outland had always contended that football tackles and guards deserved greater recognition and conceived the Outland Trophy as a means of providing this recognition.
In 1988 Jim Ridlon was commissioned to design and sculpt the Outland Trophy, which has become one of college football's most prestigious awards.
Trophies won by school