HOUSTON – Eight defensive and four offensive players comprise the list of 12 semifinalists for the 44th Rotary Lombardi Award to be held December 11, 2013, at the Wortham Center in Houston, Texas. The semifinalists were announced today at the Rotary Club of Houston.
The SEC Conference leads the pack with four players, followed by the Pac 12 with three, the ACC two followed by the Big Ten and the Big 12 with one each and one Independent.
The 12 semifinalists are:
- Anthony Barr / Sr. / LB / UCLA
- Vic Beasley / Jr. / DE / Clemson
- JaDeveon Clowney / Jr. / DE / South Carolina
- Aaron Donald / Sr. / DE / Pittsburg
- Taylor Lewan / Sr. / T / Michigan
- Jake Matthews / Sr. / T / Texas A&M
- CJ Mosley / Sr. / LB / Alabama
- Trent Murphy / Sr. / LB / Stanford
- Cyril Richardson / Sr. / G / Baylor
- Michael Sam / Sr. / DE / Missouri
- Kyle Van Noy / Sr. / LB / Brigham Young
- David Yankey / Jr. / T / Stanford
Anthony Barr, a native of San Pedro, Calif., made the decision to return to UCLA for his senior year after leading the nation in sacks with 13.5 during the 2012 season. As linebacker, he has been named a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, College Football All-America second-team, Pac-12 defensive player of the week, and Walter Camp Football Foundation player of the week. This season, Barr has recorded six sacks, assisted in 16 tackles and made 28 solo tackles.
Redshirt junior defensive end Vic Beasley has emerged in 2013 as one of the most explosive pass rushers in the ACC. During the preseason, Beasley was named to the Bednarik Award Watch List and second-team All-ACC by Lindy’s. A member of the No. 7 ranked Clemson Tigers, Beasley has accumulated 10 sacks, deflected five passes, and been a part of 27 tackles.
JaDeveon Clowney garnered national recognition in 2012 and returned for his junior year as the reigning Hendricks Award winner, unanimous All-American honoree, Heisman Trophy candidate, and South Carolina Male Athlete of the Year. Clowney ranks fifth in school history with 21 sacks and tied for second with 35.5 tackles for loss. The defensive end is regarded as one of the top defensive draft prospects of the 2014 NFL draft.
Aaron Donald, defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Panthers, currently stands atop the list of active career FBS sack leaders with 27.5. The All-American candidate leads the nation in tackles for loss and is twelfth in forced fumbles. Donald has been named a Bednarik Award Semifinalist and Midseason All-American by CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Phil Steele, and SI.com in addition to winning multiple national defensive player of the week honors.
2013 will mark the fourth year redshirt senior Taylor Lewan has started at tackle for the Michigan Wolverines. Lewan was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp, Associated Press, ESPN.com and SI.com following the 2012 season. Prior to the start of the 2013 season, Lewan received Preseason All-American honors from ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, SI.com, and Sporting News.
Jake Matthews, a native of Missouri City, Texas, is in his senior year at tackle with the Texas A&M Aggies. As a junior, Matthews was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers of America Association in addition to first-team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches and the Associated Press. Among many distinctions, Mathews was named to the 2013 Preseason All-SEC first team.
As a senior linebacker for the Alabama Crimson Tide CJ Mosley has been named a Midseason All-American by ESPN.com and SI.com. Through the first eight games in the season, Mosley has 29 assisted tackles and 30 solo tackles. Mosley has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Butkus Award which is given to the nation’s top linebacker.
Redshirt senior Trent Murphy has earned multiple national recognitions as a linebacker for Stanford University. In 2013, Murphy was named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 list by Lindy’s, Athlon Sports, and Phil Steele in addition to earning second-team All-American recognition by multiple media outlets. Murphy has been named a Bednarik Award finalist and to several national watch lists as he as made 9,5 sacks, deflected two passes, and been a part of 33 tackles.
Cyril Richardson, a fifth-year senior guard for Baylor University, was the lone Bear named to ESPN.com’s Midseason All-American list. In 2012, Richardson honored as a second-team All-American by the Associated Press, SI.com, and CBSSports.com. Richardson was also named the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and has twice been tabbed as an All-Big 12 honoree.
As three-year letterman, Michael Sam took the field in 2013 as one of the Missouri Tigers most experienced defensive ends. Through the 2012 season, Sam’s 17 career tackles for loss and 9.5 career sacks ranked highest among any returning Tiger. This season, Sam has been honored with the Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week and is a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.
A defensive leader for Brigham Young University, linebacker Kyle Van Noy has had a breakout senior year. He has been named a semifinalist for the Bednarik and Butkus Awards in addition to being named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Van Noy has earned honors as a Midseason All-American from Yahoo! Sports, SI.com, NFL.com, and CBSSports.com. On the field, Van Noy has deflected five passes, accumulated three sacks, returned an interception for a touchdown, and been a part of 40 tackles.
David Yankey, a senior tackle for the Stanford Cardinal, has been named a Midseason All-American by ESPN.com in addition to receiving numbers preseason All-American and All-Pac-12 honors. Selected as a team captain, Yankey has been named to the Maxwell Award and Outland Trophy watch lists. In 2012, Yankey was honored as a consensus All-American and to the All-Pac-12 first-team.
For tickets and sponsorship information, visit http://www.rotarylombardiaward.org/.
Rotary Lombardi Award
The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official Web site, http://www.ncfaa.org/.