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Luigs Named to Preliminary Watch List for Lombardi Award

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Luigs Named to Preliminary Watch List for Lombardi Award

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior center Jonathan Luigs has been named to the preliminary watch list for the 38th annual Rotary Lombardi Award. Luigs is one of 43 players named to the preliminary list of candidates for the nation’s best college football lineman.

Last season, Luigs earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors, third-team Associated Press All-America honors and was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s top center. He anchored a Razorbacks’ offensive front that was one of the best blocking units in the nation. In fact, Arkansas’ offensive front finished second in the nation in sacks allowed per game yielding only nine sacks in 14 games. Luigs and his teammates cleared the way for the Southeastern Conference’s top rushing offense and the nation’s fourth-best rushing attack averaging 228.5 rushing yards per outing. Arkansas boasted 13 100-yard rushing efforts in 14 games including 1,647 yards from Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and 1,168 yards from All-SEC selection Felix Jones. The duo became the first teammates in Arkansas history to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

Luigs started all 14 games at center for the Razorbacks this season after playing at both offensive guard and center as a freshman in 2005. He averaged a team-best 89.7 percent grade overall, including a 97.1 percent clip in pass blocking. Luigs had 35 knockdowns last season. He was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week in the wake of Arkansas’ upset of No. 2 Auburn. He earned Hogwired.com Offensive Player of the Week honors in the Razorbacks’ win over No. 22 Alabama.

The 43 preliminary candidates for the Rotary Lombardi Award earned a place on the initial watch list by earning All-America 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. Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley won the 37th Rotary Lombardi Award in 2006.

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.

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 I-A 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 I-A 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.

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 Dec. 5, 2007.

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.

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, Cincinnati

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

Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky

Jeremy Zuttah, OL, Rutgers



Sports Category : Football