Louisiana football’s AJ Gillie was named to the Outland Trophy preseason watch list, the Football Writers Association of America announced Tuesday.

The award, given annually to the nation’s best interior lineman, celebrates its 87th anniversary in 2023 and the recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. 

Gillie started in all 13 games last year while rating as one of the top linemen in the Sun Belt. He registered a team-high 53 knockdowns, including a season-high 11 against South Alabama. The Natchitoches, Louisiana, native graded at 80-percent-or-better in 11 games, including a 93-percent grade in three contests.

He was recently named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team and was voted to the
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team by the league’s coaches.

The redshirt junior is one of 24 guards nationally to be named to the list.

Gillie and the Ragin’ Cajuns open the season on Sept. 2 inside Cajun Field as they take on Northwestern State at 6 p.m.