One third of the way into our 100 day countdown to the debut of a new quarterback, new defense, and a newly renovated stadium against North Dakota State University, the obvious spotlight of the day is #66 B.J. Finney. The team’s returning starting center, Finney is the quintessential Snyder successful story. A redshirt junior from Andale High School, Finney is a former walk-on that worked up to a starting position and returns his junior season to continue his quest to be among the best centers in the country.
Finney was just a two-star athlete coming out of high school according to Rivals.com and did not have a scholarship offer from Kansas State despite being a two-time First Team All-State selection and tearing up the wrestling mats, taking second his junior year and the state championship his senior year. However, he quickly stood out as a member of the scout team, earning the 2010 Red Raider Award for being scout team’s the top contributor. His first year of eligibility he was named to the 2011 First Team Freshman All-American and First Team Freshman All-Big 12 performer by Rivals.com. The Kansas City Star named him Second Team All-Big 12 as well, as he began the season at right guard but soon moved to center where he started 12 games.
Finney was equally impressive his sophomore year as a First Team All-Big 12 selection. He was also a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy to recognize the nation’s top walk-on, and looks to earn even more hardware his first year as an upperclassman. Last month he was named to the 2013 Rimington Trophy Watch List, which recognizes the best center in the nation.
Finney was named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American First Team and anchors what his site will forever argue is the best offensive line in the big 12. He was named to a team captain for 2013 after two years of crushing opponents, he’s ready to develop into a full-fledged powerhouse.
To work backwards in the countdown, visit day 67, where we look at the passes defended last season.