PRESS RELEASE UTSA's Ahofitu Maka makes Outland Trophy preseason watch list

Javi C

Dec 20, 2012
San Antonio, TX
DALLAS — UTSA senior Ahofitu Maka (pronounced ah-ho-FEE-too MAH-kah) has been named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced on Tuesday.

Maka is one of 89 players — including one of five from Conference USA — on the watch list for the trophy that is awarded to the nation’s top interior lineman.

A native of Honolulu, Hawai’i, Maka has been a second-team all-conference selection at center in each of the last two seasons. He has started 37 career games, including 36 at center, as a Roadrunner after transferring from Independence Community College prior to the 2019 campaign.

Over the last two seasons, he has allowed only two sacks in more than 500 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, as the leader on the offensive line that has paved the way for a record-setting unit.

In 2020, UTSA broke single-season program records for rushing yards (2,585), rushing yards per game (215.4), yards per rush (5.21) and rushing touchdowns (24). Maka surrendered just one sack and three hits on the quarterback in 430 pass-blocking snaps that season.

Last fall, Maka started all 14 contests at center, allowing just one sack and three hits on the quarterback in 471 pass-blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus. He helped pave the way for an offense that set school records for total yards (6,146), total yards per game (439.0), passing yards (3,577), passing yards per game (255.5), points scored (516) and points per game (36.9).

Also an excellent student, Maka is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, a three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member, a 2021 C-USA All-Academic Team pick and a C-USA Academic Medal recipient.

The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.

The recipient of the Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Dec. 8. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Nebraska, on Jan. 11, 2023.

The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.

UTSA will open its 12th season of play and third under 2021 C-USA Coach of the Year Jeff Traylor on Sept. 3against Houston. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Alamodome in a game that will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Tickets are on sale now by calling or texting 210-458-UTSA (8872) or visiting