The Rotary Club of Houston has announced the 43rd Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Official Watch List for 2012.
The Rotary Lombardi Award is given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year. This year’s 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.
Texas Longhorns senior DE Alex Okafor, junior DE Jackson Jeffcoat, junior LB Jordan Hicks and junior OG Mason Walters were four of several players named to the Watch List.
The University of Texas boasts three prior winners of the Lombardi Trophy with the most recent being DE Brian Orakpo(Washington Redskins) in 2008. Defensive lineman Tony DeGrate took home the trophy in 1984 and DL Kenneth Sims was the 1981 recipient. Texas also has had four other finalists for the Lombardi; OL Justin Blalock(Atlanta Falcons) in 2006, DT Rodrique Wright(Miami Dolphins) in 2005, LB Derrick Johnson(Kansas City Chiefs) in 2004, and DE Cory Redding(Indianapolis Colts) in 2002, and two other semifinalists; OT Leonard Davis(Arizona Cardinals) in 2000 and DT Casey Hampton(Pittsburgh Steelers) in 2000.
Okafor is a three-year letterman who has appeared in 39 games on the defensive line, including 21 starts. He was a 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches All American and a unanimous first team All-Big 12 selection. Jeffcoat is a third-year defensive lineman who has appeared in 21 games with 15 starts. He was a 2011 second team All-Big 12 selection. He had 86 tackles (43 solo), 27 TFL, 10.5 sacks, four PBU, one fumble recovery and 16 pressures for his career.
This preseason, Okafor and Jeffcoat have also been named to the Bednarik Award watch list (college defensive player of the year), the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list (most outstanding defensive player) and the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Awards watch list.
The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List is a reference tool for the Selection Committee , and it will be periodically revised throughout the 2012 collegiate football season. The four finalist will be announced in November, and the winner of the 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award will be announced on national television live in “prime-time” at 8:00-9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5th at The Hobby Center in Houston, Texas.
The 2012 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List nominees are: Oday Aboushi-Virginia, Denicos Allen-Michigan State, Jacolby Ashworth-Houston, Jeremiah Attachu-Georgia Tech, Alvin Bailey-Arkansas, Dion Bailey-USC, David Bakhitiari-Colorado, Chris Barker-Nevada, Mario Benavides-Louisville, Chris Borland-Wisconsin, Jonathan Bostic-Florida, Arthur Brown-Kansas State, Jonathan Brown-Illinois, Travis Brown-Fresno State, Michael Buchanan-Illinois, Max Bullough-Michigan State, Nick Carlson-Wyoming, Braxston Cave-Notre Dame, Michael Clay-Oregon, Jadeveon Clowney-South Carolina, Jamie Collins-Southern Miss, Jonathan Cooper-North Carolina, Scott Crichton-Oregon State, Kenny Demens-Michigan, Aaron Donald-Pittsburgh, Tyler Eifert-Notre Dame, Gavin Escobar-San Diego State, Chris Faulk-LSU, Joseph Fauria-UCLA, Sharrif Floyd-Florida, DJ Fluker-Alabama, Blaize Foltz-TCU, Winston Fraser-Florida International, Travis Frederick-Wisconsin, Dalton Freeman-Clemson, Ben Gardner-Stanford, James Gayle-Virginia Tech, William Gholston-Michigan State, Ryne Giddins-South Florida, Khaseem Greene-Rutgers, Steve Greer-Virginia, Ryan Griffin-Connecticut, Jeremy Grove-East Carolina, Ben Habern-Oklahoma, Johnathan Hankins-Ohio State, Braden Hansen-BYU, Eric Herman-Ohio, Jordan Hicks-Texas, Jordan Hill-Penn State, Gerald Hodges-Penn State, Khaled Holmes-USC, Wes Horton-USC, Margus Hunt-SMU, Alex Hurst-LSU, James Hurst-North Carolina, Gabe Ikard-Oklahoma, Gabe Jackson-Mississippi State, Andrew Jackson-Western Kentucky, Jackson Jeffcoat-Texas, Brandon Jenkins-Florida State, Jelani Jenkins-Florida, John Jenkins-Georgia, Luke Joeckel-Texas A&M, Nico Johnson-Alabama, Travis Johnson-San Jose State, Barrett Jones-Alabama, Chris Jones-Bowling Green, Jarvis Jones-Georgia, Dion Jordan-Oregon, Joe Kellogg-Boise State, Zac Kerin-Toledo, A.J. Klein-Iowa State, Jake Knott-Iowa State, Tyler Larsen-Utah State, DeDe Lattimore-South Florida, Corey Lemonier-Auburn, Taylor Lewan-Michigan, Shaun Lewis-Oklahoma State, Rob Lohr-Vanderbilt, Spencer Long-Nebraska, Travis Long-Washington State, Star Lotulelei-Utah, Philip Lutzenkirchen-Auburn, Khalil Mack-Buffalo, Trent Mackey-Tulane, Joe Madsen-West Virginia, Stansly Maponga-TCU, Zack Martin-Notre Dame, Jake Matthews-Texas A&M, Chris McDonald-Michigan State, Barkevious Mingo-LSU, Sam Montgomery-LSU, Sio Moore-UConn, James Morris-Iowa, Morgan Moses-Virginia, C.J. Mosley-Alabama, Jeff Nady-Nevada, Corey Nelson-Oklahoma, Roosevelt Nix-Kent State, Alex Okafor-Texas, Kevin Pierre-Louis-Boston College, Sean Porter-Texas A&M, Sean Progar-Northern Illinois, Justin Pugh-Syracuse, Hayes Pullard-USC, David Quessenberry-San Jose State, Kevin Reddick-North Carolina, Taylor Reed-SMU, Cyril Richardson-Baylor, Weston Richburg-Colorado State, Marcus Rush-Michigan State, Kawann Short-Purdue, John Simon-Ohio State, Shayne Skov-Stanford, Adam Smith-Western Kentucky, Keith Smith-San Jose State, Akeem Spence-Illinois, Baker Steinkuhler-Nebraska, Jake Stoneburner-Ohio State, Bruce Taylor-Virginia Tech, Devin Taylor-South Carolina, Lane Taylor-Oklahoma State, Mike Taylor-Wisconsin, Manti Te’o-Notre Dame, Chase Thomas-Stanford, Levine Toilolo-Stanford, Omoregie Uzzi-Georgia Tech, Kyle Van Noy-BYU, Joe Vellano-Maryland, LaAdrian Waddle-Texas Tech, Ricky Wagner-Wisconsin, Brian Wagner-Arizona, Mason Walters-Texas, Larry Warford-Kentucky, Chance Warmack-Alabama, Stephen Warner-Louisiana Tech, Bjoern Werner-Florida State, Nikita Whitlock-Wake Forest, Jesse Williams-Alabama, Sylvester Williams-North Carolina, Trevardo Williams-Connecticut, Luke Willson-Rice, Brian Winters-Kent State, Dwayne Woods-Bowling Green and Carson York-Oregon.