The Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork presented the Alabama offensive line with the 2015 Joe Moore Award during a surprise presentation Wednesday afternoon on The University of Alabama campus. The inaugural award will be annually presented to college football’s best offensive line unit.

The Crimson Tide offensive line, led by assistant head coach Mario Cristobal, has been a steady force throughout the season and has played its best football down the stretch. The line has provided protection for a balanced attack that ranks among the SEC’s top scoring offenses. The physical play of the unit cleared the path for a record-breaking season by running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for a school- and SEC-record 1,986 yards and 23 touchdowns on his way to winning several postseason awards, including the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell and Walter Camp Award as the nation’s top player. Henry also won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. In dominating the line of scrimmage, the Crimson Tide ranks fourth nationally in time of possession (33:52) and 27th in rushing offense (208.2 ypg).

“Like a lot of offensive lines, our guys worked hard all year long, battled through adversity and improved every week,” Cristobal said following the announcement. “This offensive line plays the position the right way, with toughness, teamwork and a relentless focus on being dominant on every snap. We’ll need to keep that up and keep improving down the stretch, because this is the part of the year where good offensive line play counts the most.”

As the first-ever recipient of college football’s biggest trophy, Alabama was selected as the winning unit by a voting committee comprised solely of people who played or coached the offensive line position, including all current offensive line coaches at the FBS level as well as former players, coaches and colleagues of Coach Moore and select media. The Crimson Tide were selected over fellow finalists Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Stanford.

“Many voters shared how impressed they were with the physicality and athleticism of the Crimson Tide’s offensive line unit,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS Sports college football analyst and Chairman of the Joe Moore Award Voting Committee. “The film shows them exploding off of the ball, getting to the second level and working to finish plays, which is the hallmark of outstanding offensive line play.”

In honor of the first ever Joe Moore Award winner, the Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork will be making a $15,000 donation on behalf of Alabama to the Athlife Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that deserving high school student athletes in our nation’s most challenged communities can achieve academically and prepare to compete successfully in their future careers beyond sport.