Middleton on Lombardi Award Watch List
March 10, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana defensive end Greg Middleton was among 54 players selected to the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award Preliminary Watch List released Monday afternoon. Middleton is one of six Big Ten players on the list.
Middleton picked up All-America distinction from the Associated Press, The Sporting News, CBSSports.com, SI.com, Rivals.com and CollegeFootballNews.com one season ago. He was selected as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and became the first IU defensive lineman since Adewale Ogunleye in 1997 to earn first team All-Big Ten honors. Middleton set a new single-season school record with 16 sacks, which also led the nation.
Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, one of four finalists for the 38th Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia, was the only junior among last year's finalists. The other finalists, all seniors, were LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, Virginia defensive end Chris Long and Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long. Dorsey won the 38th Rotary Lombardi Award in ceremonies held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston on December 5, 2007.
The three semi-finalists returning to this year's list are offensive linemen Alex Mack, California, and Duke Robinson, Oklahoma, and South Florida defensive lineman George Selvie.
In conference lineups, the SEC boasts the most players with eight, followed by the Big Ten, Big 12 and Mid-American with six. The Big East, Sun Belt and Western Athletic have five each and both the Mountain West and the Pac-10 have four players each. Rounding out the list are the ACC with three players and Conference USA with two.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors or by being named to their respective all-conference first team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2008 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
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 winners and 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 2008.
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