This afternoon, the Kent Hull Trophy, which is given to the best Offensive Lineman in the State of Mississippi, announced its second ever winner. This time, Ole Miss’s OT Laremy Tunsil. Now normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but considering there was a better option on the table, the outrage is warranted. Who would I have picked to win the Kent Hull Trophy? Why not pick the player that is up for the Burlsworth Trophy as a Finalist, which is awarded to the best player in College Football who started their career as a walk-on? Why not pick the player that has won SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for three weeks at two different positions (twice at OG and once at C in place of suspended Dillon Day). Ben Beckwith deserved that award, and it’s a crying shame that he was passed over for a 5-star high school recruit who takes himself out of games so often.
Beckwith, while maybe not garnering the attention of Tunsil, has the on-field production to rival any Offensive Lineman in the country. Along with Dillon Day, Beckwith has been the anchor on the line as he has played every snap that he could possibly play. Tunsil, on the other hand, had started a reputation of taking himself out of games or not running 100% while on the field. As a high school offensive lineman, there is nothing that frustrated your coach more than not going 100% on the field as a lineman. If you don’t go 100%, you are more likely to get hurt. Now, I can already hear the arguments of Ole Miss fans that Tunsil hasn’t been healthy all year, and that injuries should be taken into account. You’re right. They should be taken into account, but there is still no excuse for a Preseason All-American (as he was so named before this season) to be taking himself out of games at random. Ben Beckwith should have won that award, and it’s a shame that he didn’t.
Here is MS Hall of Fame director Rick Cleveland’s response to the criticism received by fans about Tunsil winning the Kent Hull Trophy this season.