- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The super early start for preseason award hype continues today as the Rimington Trophy released its spring watch list. The Rimington Trophy, named for former Nebraska star Dave Rimington, goes to the nation's top college center.
Four Big Ten centers make this year's spring watch list.
Travis Jackson, Michigan State, junior
Corey Linsley, Ohio State, junior
Cole Pensick, Nebraska, senior
Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern, junior
All four players started portions of the 2012 season, although Pensick only transitioned to center late in the year. Northwestern's Vitabile is the most experienced of the bunch after starting the first 26 games of his college career.
The Big Ten loses a sizable group of good centers from 2012, headlined by Wisconsin's Travis Frederick, a first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in last month's NFL draft. Other key departures include Penn State's Matt Stankiewitch, Iowa's James Ferentz, Nebraska's Justin Jackson, Illinois' Graham Pocic, Michigan's Elliott Mealer, Indiana's Will Matte and Purdue's Rick Schmeig.
Penn State's Stankiewitch was a finalist for last year's award. Michigan's David Molk is the last Big Ten recipient of the Rimington Trophy, taking home the hardware in 2011.