McKinney and Nkemdiche are Lombardi semifinalists - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

McKinney and Nkemdiche are Lombardi semifinalists

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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