The watch list for the 2011 Lombardi Award features 15 Big 12 Conference athletes from seven different universities, the Lombardi Award Committee announced.
Oklahoma and Texas A&M lead the conference with three players each in contention for the award, which is given to the nation’s top collegiate lineman. Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas each have a pair of athletes on the list, while Texas Tech has one honoree.
The trio of Sooners includes guard Stephen Good, center Ben Habern and linebacker Travis Lewis. The three Aggies listed are defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie, offensive tackle Luke Joeckel and linebacker Garrick Williams. Oklahoma and Texas A&M are two of only 16 schools with at least three players on the list.
Cyclones on the list include linebacker Jake Knott and offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele, while the two Tigers honored are defensive linemen Brad Madison and Jacquies Smith. The two Cowboys named on the list are offensive tackle Levy Adcock and linebacker Shaun Lewis, while Texas’ defensive lineman Kheeston Randall and linebacker Keenan Robinson also garnered recognition, along with Texas Tech guard Lonnie Edwards.
Eligibility for the Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen competing either on offense or defense from end to end who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates also must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the NCAA.
The candidates earned a place on the watch list by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first team last season as selected by the conference’s head coaches, by 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 FBS player who meets the above requirements is eligible for consideration from the Lombardi Award Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all FBS head coaches, and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The Lombardi Award Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the selection committee, will be periodically updated and revised up to the first round of voting to determine the 12 semifinalists for 2011.
The 42nd Lombardi Award will be handed out during festivities on Dec. 6-7 at Reliant Center in Houston.