2021 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List Revealed

Houston - The Rotary Lombardi Award in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Houston is pleased to announce the prospective 80 players who will compete for this year’s coveted award. The Rotary Lombardi Award goes annually to the college football offensive or defensive lineman, who in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach Vince Lombardi.

This year’s watch list is filled with talent from a multitude of schools and conferences, which should make for an exciting voting process. To be considered for the Rotary Lombardi Award, players must be a NCAA FBS College Football team member and meet the following qualifications:
• Be a down Lineman, end to end, either on offense or defense, setting up no further than ten (10) yards to the left or right of the ball at the time of the snap.
• Be a Linebacker on defense, setting up no further than five (5) yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
• Must not come out of the offensive backfield and set up on the line of scrimmage as a Blocker or a Receiver or listed in the program as an Offensive Back or Receiver.
• Be eligible to participate in the current season.

The voting process for this year’s award ceremony will go as follows.
• First round ballots are to be emailed by Sept 24th and voting ends on Oct 11th. The 12 semifinalists from the first round will be announced Oct 13th.
• The second-round ballots will be emailed Oct 15th and voting ends on Nov 8th. The 4 finalists from the second round will be announced Nov 9th.
• Lastly, third round ballots will be emailed by Nov 15th and voting ends on Dec 6th.

Honorary Chair Famed Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer, 1987 Winner Chris Spielman, the four nominees, and their coaches will attend the award ceremony on December 8th event in Houston Texas.

All ten Division-I FBS conferences will be represented in the 80-player watch list. From the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion Clemson Tigers, Bryan Breese is one of many notable headlines from this year’s watch list. Breese, the ACC defensive rookie of the year will be in running for the award alongside Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year Mike Rose from Iowa State. In addition, North Texas' defensive lineman and recent CUSA first team AllConference honoree, Dion Novil, will make a convincing case to bring home the award. Troy’s Carlton Martial will undoubtedly be another notable player on the watch list after leading the country in total tackles this past season.

The SEC offers their own fair share of worthy star players from teams including, Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU, and Kentucky. Alabama standouts Henry To’o To’o, Phidarian Mathis, and Christian Harris are 3 of 6 Alabama players on the list. Three Texas A&M players, Jalen Wydermyer, Demarvin Leal, and Kenyon Green, join the list with two LSU players: Mike Jones Jr and O’Cyrus Torrence. Meanwhile Pac-12 and UCLA standout Greg Dulcich will be looking to win the award. Dulcich will not be the only player seeking the award out of the All Pac-12 as Washington boasts two players of their own: Jaxson Kirkland a first team All Pac-12 left tackle and Edefuan Ulofoshio an All-Pac-12 2nd Team LB.

Among those representing the Big Ten include Thayer Munford, Ohio State offensive tackle and preseason 1st team All-American (Walter Camp), pre-season 1st team All-Big Ten and the highest rated returning offensive tackle (Pro Football Focus); Tyler Linderbaum, center, Iowa1st team All- Big Ten preseason, 1st team All-American (Phil Steele) preseason, 2020 finalist Rimington Award; Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin, 1st team preseason All-Big Ten, 2020 3rd team All-American (Pro Football Focus), Bednarik and Butkus award watch lists.

These names are only a few out of a watch list of 80 great players deserving of the Rotary Lombardi Award. The winner to be announced on Dec 8th will be able to add their name to a notable list of past winners such as Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Taylor, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Aaron Donald, and two-time winner Orlando Pace.

Just weeks after Coach Vince Lombardi’s 1970 death from colon cancer, the Rotary Club of Houston was authorized by Lombardi’s widow, Marie, to establish the Rotary Lombardi Award. As stipulated by Mrs. Lombardi, net proceeds from the Award’s activities are contributed to Cancer Research and specifically the American Cancer Society’s programs. For additional information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

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