Michigan senior David Molk named Rimington Award winner as country's best center
David Molk knew he was a good high school player, but kept hearing the same criticism from big-time schools.
"I had a lot of good things, and I had one outstanding bad thing that every single person in the world told me: That I was too short, and that I was too light," said Molk, who entered high school at 5-foot-6, 180 pounds.
"I told myself there would be absolutely no reason or no way that would affect how I play, and that’s what I’ve tailored my entire career after."
So, he adapted his play — and five years later, he's become the nation's top center.
On Thursday night, Molk was named this year's Rimington Award winner as the country's best center during the College Football Awards show in Orlando. He beat out Clemson's Dalton Freeman, Oklahoma State's Grant Garner, Georgia's Ben Jones, Wisconsin's Peter Konz and Alabama's William Vlachos.
Molk is a fifth-year senior from Lemont, Ill. He's played for three coaches, a first for a Michigan player since the 1920s, and lost much of 2009 to injuries.
He remains undersized at 6-foot-2, 286 pounds.
Despite those obstacles, though, Molk has become a four-year starter and team captain.
Now, he's at the top of his sport as the hardware continues to roll in.
Molk joins David Baas (2004) as Michigan's only winners of the Rimington Trophy, and he also was named a first-team Walter Camp All-America selection on Thursday. The last Wolverines player to earn that honor was offensive tackle Jake Long in 2007.
Last week, Molk was named the Big Ten's Offensive Lineman of the Year. Teammate and roommate Ryan Van Bergen was asked on Sunday if the humble Molk has been "insufferable" since winning the award.
"You know, Molk, he's such a jabber-jaw that he's so hard to keep contained," Van Bergen said, laughing. "That's all he does, run around the house and tell me he's such a better offensive lineman than me. And I tell him, 'I don't even play O-line.'
"I couldn't be more happy for Dave Molk and what he's accomplished. He works so hard. He's a tremendous worker. As far as national awards and accolades go, the sky's the limit for him. I know there's still the Rimington to be announced, and I think he's a prime candidate for that.
"He is the best center in the country, hands down. I wish him all the best and am confident he'll be rewarded for the work he's put in."
He was, and continues to be.
2011 College Football Award Winners Other award winners, announced at the College Football Awards show at Disney World on Thursday:
(Best all-around player)
Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB
Chuck Bednarik Trophy
(Best defensive player)
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
(Best interior lineman)
Barrett Jones, Alabama, OT
Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award
Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Doak Walker Award
(Best running back)
Trent Richardson, Alabama
Fred Biletnikoff Award
(Best wide receiver)
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Jim Thorpe Award
(Best defensive back)
Morris Claiborne, LSU
Lou Groza Collegiate
Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
Ray Guy Award
Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award
Les Miles, LSU
Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award
University of Alabama Football Team
NCFAA Contribution to College Football Award
Roy Kramer, SEC commissioner 1990-2002