Andrews Named Semifinalist for Lombardi Award
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior offensive tackle Shawn Andrews has been named as one of the 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award it was announced on Tuesday.
The Camden, Ark., native was one of 39 preseason candidates for the award that is presented annually to the nation’s top down lineman or defensive player who lines up within five yards of the football. The list was cut to 12 on Tuesday with the four finalists set to be announced on Nov. 11. The winner of the 2003 Rotary Lombardi Award will be announced on Dec. 10 in Houston, Texas.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Shawn to be a semifinalist for one of the nation’s top awards,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “Shawn’s selection is a reflection of both, his special talents and abilities as well as the contributions made by his teammates. When Shawn plays to his potential, there are few, if any, better linemen in college football.”
A consensus preseason first-team All-American, Andrews has already been named to the 2003 Playboy All-America and the SI.com Midseason All-America teams. He has recorded 64 knockdown blocks this season and has graded out at 90 percent or better in six of the Razorbacks’ first seven games. He earned a school record 21 knockdown blocks including two knockdowns on a play twice in a 34-31 double-overtime win at Alabama. Andrews has also led the way for the top rushing team in the Southeastern Conference (204.6 yards per game) and the 17th-best rushing team in the nation.
The semifinalists were selected by a panel of over 400 selectors, comprised of all Division I head coaches, all past winners and finalists of the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as writers and broadcasters who cover college football. Voting to determine the four finalists for the award will begin immediately and conclude on Monday, Nov. 11.
Now in its 34th year, the Rotary Lombardi Award continues on the path first set down by the founders of the award, who conceived of the event as a way to honor the memory of Vince Lombardi and raise money for the American Cancer Society. The first event took place just over four months after Lombardi’s death, and since that time, nearly $3 million has been raised for cancer research.
This year’s event is on Wednesday, Dec. 10. Hall of Fame lineman Jackie Slater will serve as the guest speaker and will present the Rotary Lombardi Award to the winner at the end of the evening’s festivities.
In addition to Andrews, other semifinalists include defensive tackle Tommie Harris (Oklahoma), linebacker Teddy Lehman (Oklahoma), linebacker Jonathan Vilma (Miami), tight end Kellen Winslow (Miami), Bo Schobel (TCU), defensive end David Ball (UCLA), offensive tackle Robert Gallery (Iowa), linebacker Matt Grootegoed (Southern Cal), Jake Grove (Virginia Tech), defensive end David Pollack (Georgia) and defensive end Will Smith (Ohio State).
Sports Category :