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Gelen Robinson: Piesman Trophy Candidate

The senior and son of the Big Dog is our nominee for the 2017 Piesman Trophy.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The greatest trophy in college sports is the Piesman Trophy. There is no comparison. Officially, it is an award for the best play for an offensive or defensive lineman made with the ball in his hands. You know what that means, right?


That’s right, most plays up for the Piesman involve guys who have to be legally described as “rumbling” with the ball in their hands. What also makes it great is that it is a trophy that knows no divisional boundaries. A 5-star offensive tackle bound for the NFL from Alabama is just as eligible as a backup defensive tackle on an NAIA team. If a guy scores a TD or makes a big play with the ball, he is in.

Last season Purdue had one nominee, and when SB Nation asked me for nominees for this year I had to nominate him again.

It is Gelen Robinson, the 6’1” 275 defensive tackle and son of the Big Dog.

Here is the play that got him on the board last season:

That’s 78 yards of fearsome momentum matriculating and, yes, rumbling down the field. It was also possibly the lone big highlight in an otherwise dreary season.

I have nominated him for the “watch list” again this year mostly because he is a senior that is expected to have a big season in his final year on campus. He has all the physical tools to be a great defensive lineman. He has shown flashes in the past beyond this play (which finished 7th in last year’s voting).

The thing is, he still needs to make a big play with the ball in his hands this year. Let’s hope this happens.