LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty’s Thomas Sargeant, who recently started his 40th career game for the Flames, is drawing national attention for his consistent play on the offensive line.

Today, Sargeant was one of several FBS players added to the Rimington Trophy Watch list, an award that is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football.

Since its inception, the seventeen-year old award has raised over $4.45 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Sargeant, who is a native of Mechanicsville, Va., has started every game at center for the Flames since his redshirt freshman season in 2017.

He has helped the Flames through the FBS reclassification process, including Liberty’s victory over Georgia Southern in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl, last December, to cap off the Flames’ first full year at the FBS level.

The former walk-on anchored an offensive line that allowed quarterback Stephen Calvert to finish his career (2016-19) as Liberty's all-time leader in career passing yards (12,025) and touchdowns (93).

Liberty's offensive line allowed Calvert to post the longest streak in the country among FBS quarterbacks by completing 295 passing attempts without an interception in 2019. The Flames, who posted an 8-5 record in 2019, finished the year ranked No. 21 nationally in passing yards per game (288.9) and No. 32 in total offensive yards per game (439.4).

The Rimington Trophy Committee adjusted its procedures with consideration to the COVID-19 pandemic, choosing to hold its 2020 watch list until play began. The plan was implemented across all Division I conferences. 

This year, the committee accepted nominations from all eligible Division I programs with the goal of highlighting as many collegiate centers as possible and showing the outstanding commitment of the nominated student-athletes.  

Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only two-time winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com

The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.