Rex Nelson: Remembering the Linemen – Willie Roaf, Dan Hampton


The following column is and excerpt from Rex Nelson’s Southern Fried Blog on two great Arkansas linemen, Willie Roaf and Dan Hampton, both of whom will be honored with awards in their names given by the Little Rock Touchdown Club this year.

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It’s far too easy for those of us who love talking and writing about football to forget the linemen.

As an old offensive lineman — emphasis on “old” — I should know better.

Yet each Monday during the fall when I stand before the members of the Little Rock Touchdown Club and give my weekly college football recap, I talk about those who ran for touchdowns, those who threw the passes, those who caught those passes, those who intercepted the passes and those who kicked the field goals.

That’s the easy thing to do.

The boys who toil in the trenches understand that. They do it not for personal glory but instead because they love the sport and are the ultimate team players.

The guys who play on the line tend to be smart and articulate. If you don’t believe me, come hear Jonathan Luigs when he addresses the Touchdown Club on Monday, Oct. 21.

I like to think they put the smartest player on the team at center.

In January, when the Touchdown Club hosts its annual postseason awards banquet (with Lou Holtz as the keynote speaker), two new awards will be presented.

The Dan Hampton Award will be given to the top Arkansas high school defensive lineman and the top Arkansas collegiate defensive lineman.

The Willie Roaf Award will be given to the top Arkansas high school offensive lineman and the top Arkansas collegiate offensive lineman.

A selection panel of media representatives will join Hampton and Roaf in picking the honorees each year.

Good for the Little Rock Touchdown Club.

Good for recognizing linemen, both those on offense and those on defense.

Good for not just limiting those awards to the collegiate level. You can never have enough high school awards.

And good for naming the awards after Hampton and Roaf, two of the finest linemen ever to come out of this state.

Continue reading these profiles by clicking here.

Little Rock Touchdown Club Dan Hampton Award for linemenLittle Rock Touchdown Club Willie Roaf Award for linemen

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