March 20, 2007
The preliminary watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, was released today, and Marshall University senior center Doug Legursky and junior defensive end Albert McClellan are among the 43 players named to the watch list.
Legursky, a senior from Beckley, W.Va., is making his second appearance on the watch list. The standout center earned first-team All-Conference USA honors last season and has played in 35 consecutive games dating back to his true freshman season in 2004. The three-year starter did not allow a sack in 2006.
McClellan, a junior from Lakeland, Fla., earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors from the league's media and first-team all-conference accolades after leading the league with 11 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. McClellan finished the year ranked sixth in the nation in tackles for loss, seventh in sacks and his four forced fumbles placed him 10th nationally.
This year's event, marking the 38th year of raising funds for the American Cancer Society while honoring college football's best lineman, will be held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston on December 5, 2007.
Nine players are returning to the Rotary Lombardi Award Preliminary Watch List for 2007 - Marshall's Legursky, USC's Sam Baker, TCU's Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, Toledo's John Greco, Auburn's Quentin Groves, Virginia Tech's Vince Hall,Wake Forest's Steve Justice, and Oregon State's Jeremy Perry.
USC has the most players on the list with four, followed by TCU with three. Kentucky, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State and Rutgers each have two players on the watch list. The Pac 10 Conference boasts the most players with seven, followed by the SEC with six, the Big East with five and the ACC and Mountain West conferences with four each. Conferences with three players each are the Big 12, Conference USA, MAC, Sun Belt and WAC. The Big 10 rounds out the list with two players.
The 43 preliminary candidates earned a place on the initial watch list by earning All-American honors or by being named to their respective all-conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2007 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. While the Watch List highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Division 1 player who meets the position requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past finalists, all Division 1 head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2007.
The complete Rotary Lombardi Award Preliminary Watch List for 2007 follows:
Sam Baker, OT, USC
Tommy Blake, DE, TCU
George Bussey, OT, Louisville
Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada
Terrill Byrd, DT, Cincinatti
Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Ian Campbell, DE, Kansas State
Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Bruce Davis, DE, UCLA
Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Keilen Dykes, DT, West Virginia
Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois
Eric Foster, DT, Rutgers
Drew Fowler, LB, Air Force
John Greco, OT, Toledo
Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn
Vince Hall, LB, Virginia Tech
Tavares Jones, DE, Middle Tennessee State
Steve Justice, C, Wake Forest
James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
Doug Legursky, OL, Marshall
Kory Lichtensteiger, OL, Bowling Green
Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas
Alex Mack, C, California
Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
Albert McClellan, DE, Marshall
Shawn Nelson, TE, Southern Miss
Chase Ortiz, DE, TCU
Jeremy Perry, OG, Oregon State
Jason Phillips, LB, TCU
Josh Pinnick, DL, Florida Atlantic
Barry Richardson, OT, Clemson
Steve Rissler, C, Florida
Keith Rivers, LB, USC
Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri
Bo Ruud, LB, Nebraska
Jacob Tamme, TE, Kentucky
David Vobora, LB, Idaho
Erik Walden, DL, Middle Tennessee State
Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky
Jeremy Zuttah, OL, Rutgers
Tickets and table sales for the 2007 dinner will be available in May, shortly after the NFL Draft. For more information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.com.