The Rotary Club of Houston today announced the 43rd Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Official Watch List. The Rotary Lombardi Award is given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year.
Eight MAC student-athletes were named to this year's list, including: Ohio OL Eric Herman; Bowling Green DT Chris Jones; Toledo OL Zac Kerin; Buffalo LB Khalil Mack; Kent State DT Roosevelt Nix; Northern Illinois DE Sean Progar; Kent State OL Brian Winters and Bowling Green LB Dwayne Woods.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to: 1) offensive or defensive end-to-end down linemen who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball and 2) linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The candidates earned a place on the Official Watch List by: earning All-American honors last season; being named last season to their respective all-conference first team as determined by the conference’s head coaches; being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season; or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.
While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division IA player who meets the above requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee. The committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division IA head coaches, and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List is a reference tool for the Selection Committee. It will be periodically revised until the first round of voting is completed. The first round of voting determines the Top 25 Quarter finalists for 2012. The second round of voting will determine the final 7 semi-finalists or "Seven Blocks of Granite". The third round of voting will determine the "four finalists" from the "Seven Blocks of Granite". The fourth and final round of voting will determine the winner of The 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award which will be announced on national television live in "prime-time" 8-9 PM (CST) Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at The Hobby Center in Houston, TX (network to be determined).
Last year’s 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award winner, Luke Kuechly (LB-Boston College) was drafted by the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the Panthers with the 9th overall pick of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Other 2011 Rotary Lombardi finalists, Dont'a Hightower (LB - Alabama) was the overall 25th pick in the first round of the NFL draft by the New England Patriots; Courtney Upshaw, (OLB - Alabama) was the overall 35th pick by the Baltimore Ravens; Jonathan Martin (OT-Stanford) was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the Second round and the 42nd pick overall.”
For more information on the two-day schedule of events and ticket opportunities, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.