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Boise State's Idaho duo honored among nation's best linemen

Boise's John Ojukwu and Homedale's Scott Matlock were named candidates Tuesday for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's best returning interior lineman.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State's home-grown talent is earning national recognition ahead of the 2022 college football campaign. 

On Tuesday, Boise native John Ojukwu and Homedale's Scott Matlock were named to the 2022 Outland Trophy Watch List. The Outland Trophy recognizes the best returning interior lineman in college football each year. 

All 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents are represented on the preseason watch list, which includes 89 standout interior lineman. Boise State is the lone Mountain West program with two players on the Outland Trophy Watch List.

The Idaho duo represented the Boise State football program at Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas last week and both appeared on the 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West Team. Ojukwu and Matlock earned the trip to Mandalay Bay after they were voted team captains by their Bronco teammates.

Ojukwu - a 2017 graduate of Boise High School - started all 12 games last season at left tackle for the Broncos and has started 29-straight games in the blue and orange.

The Treasure Valley standout earned All-Mountain West First Team honors in 2021 and All-Mountain West Second Team honors in 2020.

Matlock started 12 games last fall, en route to being named Second Team All-Mountain West. The Homedale native recorded 41 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and a receiving touchdown in 2021. 

At Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas, Matlock reflected on how far he and Ojukwu have come since high school.

RELATED: Idaho natives represent Boise State football in Las Vegas

"I think it's pretty cool. Obviously, John and I, we've done a good job, you know, working hard and being leaders and helping others," Matlock said. "We weren't always like we are now, I mean, we were - at one point - the young, dumb freshman that didn't know what to do. We developed into who we are now."

Candidates in the Mountain West for the annual award are listed below:

  • Everett Smalley (OL) - Air Force 
  • Scott Matlock (DL) - Boise State
  • John Ojukwu (OL) - Boise State
  • Aaron Frost (OL) - Nevada
  • Alama Uluave (OL) - San Diego State
  • Alfred Edwards (OL) - Utah State

The 2022 Outland Trophy recipient will be announced Dec. 8. 

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