HOUSTON (RotaryLombariAward.org) –Ten defensive and two offensive players comprise the list of 12 semifinalists for the 45th Rotary Lombardi Award to be held December 10, 2014, at Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas. The semifinalists were announced today by the Rotary Club of Houston at NRG Stadium.
The SEC and Pac 12 Conference leads the pack with four players each, followed by the Big Ten with three players, the ACC with one player.
The 12 semifinalists are:
Vic Beasley DE Sr Clemson
Joey Bosa DE So Ohio State
Shilique Calhoun DE Jr Michigan State
Reese Dismukes C Sr Auburn
Hau'oli Kikaha LB Sr Washington
Benardrick McKinney LB Jr Mississippi State
Robert Nkemdiche DT So Ole Miss
Nate Orchard DE Sr Utah
Shane Ray DE Jr Missouri
Brandon Scherff T Sr Iowa
Leonard Williams DE Jr USC
Scooby Wright LB So Arizona
Redshirt junior Benardick McKinney is rated as the top underclass inside linebacker prospect by Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN. He is on the 2014 Bednarik, Nagurski, Butkus, and Lombardi Award Watch List. After earning All American team in each of his first two seasons, McKinney now leads the #1 team in the country with 50 tackles. His 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks are second best.
As a sophomore DT out of Loganville, Ga., Robert Nkemdiche has drawn comparisons to NFL star Ndamukonh Suh from him D-line coach at Ole Miss. Selected to the preseason All-SEC first team and second team preseason All-American, Nkemdiche is a cornerstone of the Rebel's defense
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