Pat Elflein’s decision to return to Ohio State was a big one.

He was one of just two starters back for the Buckeyes on the offensive side of the ball. Without the senior captain, Ohio State might not be preparing for a College Football Playoff semifinal.

On Thursday, Elflein’s contributions were recognized with an impressive award. He was named the 2016 Rimington Trophy winner as the top center in college football.

Elflein was the first B1G player to receive the award since 2011 and he was the first Buckeye to earn the honor since 2001.

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With the senior paving the way, Ohio State had the B1G’s top rushing attack (258.3 yards per game) and top scoring offense (42.7 points per game). After taking over in the beginning of Ohio State’s national championship run in 2014, Elflein has started 41 games in his career.

Elflein already received the B1G Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year, in addition to first-team All-America accolades from a variety of publications.

He can add another honor to his trophy case on Thursday night. Elflein is a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the top interior lineman in college football.

That’ll be announced the Home Depot Awards Show on ESPN, which starts at 7 p.m. ET.