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Sooner Tandem, OSU's Taylor Make Outland Watch List

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OSU guard Lane Taylor and OU's linemen Ben Habern and Gabe Ikard were named to the 2012 Outland Trophy preseason watch list on Thursday. OSU guard Lane Taylor and OU's linemen Ben Habern and Gabe Ikard were named to the 2012 Outland Trophy preseason watch list on Thursday.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The preseason award accolades continue to roll in for OU and OSU as two Sooners and a Cowboy were named to the watch list for the 2012 Outland Trophy for the nation's top interior offensive lineman.

For the Sooners, senior center Ben Habern and junior offensive lineman Gabe Ikard were named to the watch list. Oklahoma State guard Lane Taylor is also on the 71-man list.

Habern has started 30 games at center for the Sooners and was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List earlier in the week. An arm injury limited him to six starts in 2011 when he compiled 39 knockdowns on 391 snaps. Habern started all 14 games in 2010 when he earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the Associated Press.

Ikard started all 13 games for the Sooners in 2011, starting six games at left guard and seven games at center following Habern's injury. He earned third-team All-America accolades from the Associated Press and Yahoo! Sports, in addition to receiving first-team All-Big 12 honors and second-team Academic All-America recognition.

For OSU, Taylor leads all returning linemen with 36 career starts and has been a steady force for one of the nation's premier offenses, which ranked third nationally in 2010 and 2011. Taylor graded out at 98 percent in two games last year and did not allow a sack. OSU has ranked among the top 11 teams in the nation in fewest sacks allowed with Taylor protecting the quarterback.

The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century.

Finalists will be named on Nov. 19 with the winner being announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 6 on ESPN.

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