FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas honorable mention All-American linebacker Sam Olajubutu has been named to the preseason watch list for a major post-season award for the second time this month with Thursday’s announcement he is one of 42 candidates for the 2006 Lott Trophy.
On March 7, the first-team All-SEC selection was one of 44 candidates named to the watch list for the 37th Annual Rotary Lombardi Award.
The Lott Trophy, named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its third year, The Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.The Lombardi Award is annually presented to the nation’s top down lineman or defensive player who lines up within five yards of the football.
Olajubutu led the team and ranked third in the Southeastern Conference last season with 118 tackles, averaging 10.7 per game. He also led the team and was fifth in the league with 14.5 tackles for loss. He was second on the team with 4.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries.
An honorable mention All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com, the LaGrange, Ga., native enters his senior season with 257 career tackles, just 43 away from becoming only the 14th Razorback to record 300 career stops.
In 2005, he recorded 14 or more tackles four times and was in double-figures five times. Olajubutu, who earned Hogwired.com Defensive Player of the Week honors four times, made a career-high 18 tackles against Auburn, which tied for the SEC single-game high, and had 16 against Alabama.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. David Pollack of Georgia and DeMeco Ryans of Alabama were the winners of the first two Lott Trophies. Both Georgia and Alabama received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds. In two years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $170,000 to various charities, in addition to the two universities. Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Master Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches. The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club Dec. 10. The 37th Rotary Lombardi Award will be presented on Dec. 6, at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston. A.J. Hawk of Ohio State was named the 36th winner of the award last year. Former Razorbacks Shawn Andrews (2002) and Billy Ray Smith Jr. (1981-82) were both finalists for the Lombardi Award.
The preliminary Lombardi Award candidates earned a place on the initial watch list by earning All-America honors at the end of the 2005 or previous seasons, or by being named to their respective all conference team as selected by the conference’s head coaches. The watch list will be updated prior to the start of the 2006 season, in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
2006 Lott Trophy Watch ListRufus Alexander, Sr., LB, Oklahoma, 6-1, 231Dwayne Andrews, Sr., LB, Fresno State, 6-0, 240Patrick Bailey, Sr., LB, Duke, 6-4, 230Daniel Bazuin, Sr., DE, Central Michigan, 6-3, 257 Tommy Blake, Sr., DE, TCU, 6-3, 250H.B. Blades, Sr., LB, Pitt, 6-0, 240Mkistro Bruce, Sr., DL, Washington State, 6-6, 255Rob Caldwell, Sr., LB, Navy, 6-0, 222 Caleb Campbell, Jr., DB, Army, 6-2, 223Adam Carriker, Sr., DL, Nebraska, 6-6, 280 Tim Crowder, Sr., DE, Texas, 6-4, 270Joe Garcia, Sr., DB, Nevada, 6-0, 182Michael Griffin, Sr., S, Texas, 6-0, 205Korey Hall, Sr., LB, Boise State, 6-1, 228Leon Hall, CB, Sr., Michigan, 5-11, 194Vince Hall, Jr., LB, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 236Marcus Hamilton, Sr., CB, Virginia, 5-11, 187Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee, 6-4, 306Nate Harris, Sr., LB, Louisville, 6-1, 232Jay Henry, Sr., LB, West Virginia, 6-2, 225 Will Herring, Sr., LB, Auburn, 6-3, 220Daymeion Hughes, Sr., CB, Cal, 6-2, 185Kenny Iwebema, Sr., DE, Iowa, 6-4, 255Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC, 6-5, 265Kyle Kinsell, DE, Davidson, 6-0, 235LaRon Landry, Sr. S, LSU, 6-2, 204 Larry McSwain, Sr., DL, UAB, 6-3, 255Brandon Meriweather, Sr, S, Miami, 6-0, 188Will Meyers, Sr. DB, Indiana, 5-11, 201Quentin Moses, Sr., DE, Georgia, 6-5, 255 Matt Muncy, Sr., LB, Ohio, 6-2, 234Jesse Nading, Jr., DE, Colorado State, 6-5, 252Eli Nichols, Sr., DL, Duke, 6-4, 260Sam Olajubutu, Sr., LB, Arkansas, 5-9, 227Paul Posluszny, Sr., LB, 6-2, 230, Penn StateRoderick Rogers, Sr., DB, Wisconsin, 6-2, 181Brandon Siler, Jr., LB, Florida, 6-2, 239Juwan Simpson, Sr., LB, Alabama, 6-3, 222Justin Warren, Sr., LB, Texas A&M, 6-3, 237Eric Weddle, Sr., S, Utah, 6-0, 200Patrick Willis, Sr., LB, Mississippi, 6-2, 240Tom Zbikowski, Sr, S, Notre Dame, 6-0, 208