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Posted on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Michigan senior David Molk named Rimington Award winner as country's best center

By Kyle Meinke

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.


David Molk, center, and coach Brady Hoke hoisted some hardware earlier this season when they retained the Little Brown Jug by beating Minnesota. On Thursday, Molk won the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's best center.

Associated Press

"I am truly humbled to be the Rimington Trophy recipient," Molk said in a statement released through the school. "It's such an honor, considering all of the great centers around the country, including the other finalists. It's an individual award, but it's a credit to our offensive line, our team and our coaching staff. I'm proud to represent the University of Michigan."

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:

Maxwell Award
(Best all-around player)
Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB

Chuck Bednarik Trophy
(Best defensive player)
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

Outland Trophy
(Best interior lineman)
Barrett Jones, Alabama, OT

Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award
(Best Quarterback)
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
(Place-kicker award)
Randy Bullock, Texas A&M

Ray Guy Award
(Best punter)
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

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

Just think, if RR was the coach this year we would have won all of these awards: Heisman Trophy Rimington Award Maxwell Award Chuck Bednarik Trophy Outland Trophy Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Doak Walker Award Fred Biletnikoff Award Jim Thorpe Award Lou Groza Collegiate Ray Guy Award The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award Disney's Wide World of Sports Spirit Award (According to his own delusional mind)


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 12:52 a.m.

This just in: The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award has been officially renamed to The Rich Rodriguez Coach of Infinity Award.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

I smell rim yes I do!! I smell Rimington, how bout you! Great job david!! HEISMAN is next!!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

It sounds like there is only one more thing that David Molk needs to accomplish in his senior season. That is win a bcs bowl game! It is to bad Hoke or Mattison did not bring home some hardware as they were by far the most deserving this year! None the less what a great season so far and it is not over yet. Blow Vtech out of the water! Go Blue!!!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.



Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Those who stay will be champions. Congrats, David've earned it.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 10:45 a.m.

David Molk-- 2011 Remington Award Winner. Let's keep this simple. HE IS MICHIGAN! This is Michigan! Go Blue!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Hey 15crown00, did you win the Big Ten championship game? No? That's why you're not in a BCS bowl game!

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

crown00 I'm sorry but it's not "backing in" when you win more games than some of the other teams. Michigan finished strong. Won their last game. How did you do with that last game? I don't expect an answer "cuz you got nothin"! TiM Go Blue! (I'll be at Cafe Du on the morning of the game. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood. hahahahahahah!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

Congratulations to David Molk You Backers into to the Sugar Bowl


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 10:02 a.m.

Congrats David Molk. A hard worker and team leader who played his heart out. Remember how he played badly injured during that home game against Penn State in 2009? They had to drag hm off the filed. A Michigan Man all the way. Wish he could play for Michigan a few more years.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:39 a.m.

Hmm, I don't see a single Michigan State player on this award list! Outrageous - I bet the couch fires are burning high and bright in East Lansing tonight. LOL! Oh wait: there's no Most Futile Effort in College Football award. That explains it.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

My, oh my. Testy, aren't we? How do we say 3 losses vs 2 losses? Smile. It's only a game! lol


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

i also see MSU 28-Uof M 14.So take that Arrogant One


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:37 a.m.

Excellent article, i'm glad I wasn't drinking anything or it would have ended up on the screen. Thank you for the laughs. Congrats to David Molk, an absolute champion that stayed. Go Blue!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:18 a.m.

Molk + Hoke & staff = Rimington Award Start of the new & soon to be popular NFL draft chant: Detroit Lions, Got Molk? GO BLUE!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:14 a.m.

Best in the country!! What a great award for a great athlete and great representative of Michigan football. Congratulations to David and to his family and coaches. WINNER! Wasn't it he who had two consecutive injuries which took him out of play for many months? If that's correct, I would say that we should honor David Molk for his determination and faith as much as for his excellent performance on the field.

Terry Star21

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

Wow.....and the great things just keep coming for Michigan football this year. Congrats David, you earned it and you deserve it. Kudo's, Kudo's..... MgoBlueForTiM...........MgoBlueForDM


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

Molk is 6'2" and gained over 100lbs of muscle since highschool. That alone deserves an award. Dave Molk has a BEAST infection.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:29 a.m.

Impressive but I'm not shocked: I was breaking school shot put records when I was fifteen. (One of those still stands: almost 50 years later.) I knew two guys at other schools who grew to around 6' 4" in high school and were also exceptional athletes (football, etc.) So yeah, Molk's growth and development aren't unheard of.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

Well, the article actually gives his dimensions when he *entered* high school. Regardless, I'm always curious about this, since there are quite a few people who still grow into their early 20s.

Theo's Brother

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

Recount! Recount! He couldn't possibly be the best center in America because he doesn't play in the SEC!!!!!! As you figured that was laced with sarcasm. Being a Michigander here in the deep south makes me sick and tired of hearing all this SEC mess. Glad to see we are on the way back and can't wait until we ROLL THE TIDE next season! GO BLUE!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

What a wonderful honor. Captain, 4 year player, All American, Rimington Award winner, leader and the best. A true Michigan Man.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

Congratulations, Mr. Molk, you earned it many times over.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

This is fantastic news! Wolverine nation is proud of you!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 2:52 a.m.

Congratulations, David!! A GREAT accomplishment! GO BLUE!! GN&GL


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.