Montgomery was a finalist for the Hendricks Award last season. Illinois' Whitney Mercilus won the award in 2011. The SEC has plenty of names on the watch list and Mingo and Montgomery will have stiff competition within the conference for the award. South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, Florida's Dominique Easley and Auburn's Corey Lemonier are some of the SEC names on the list. No SEC player has won the award since Georgia's David Pollack won it back-to-back in 2003 and 2004.
The Award was first handed out in 2002. Defensive ends need to do more than produce on the field to win the award. According to the press release, "On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award's winner." National media members, head coaches, pro scouts and former winners form the voting committee for the award. The mid-season watch list will come out in November and the current watch list can be modified. The winner will be announced on Dec. 5.
Montgomery had 13.5 tackles for loss and 9 sacks last season. He also forced a fumble. Montgomery has 11 sacks during his career and needs six more to make it into the top ten in LSU history. Mingo's 15 tackles for loss ranked third in the SEC last season. He also had eight sacks and a forced fumble in 2011. His production was even more impressive considering he only had four starts in 2011.
I think it will be difficult for Mingo or Montgomery to win the award. Part of the reason no SEC player has won since Pollack is that SEC defensive ends are taking votes from each other. In the case of the LSU players, it must have been hard to choose one over the other since they had similar production. They will look to repeat that performance this season and make it tough for voters again. One hidden factor that will play a role in Mingo and Montgomery's production is how well defensive tackle Bennie Logan plays. After last season, I expect nothing short of a great 2012 campaign from Logan.
As an LSU fan, I am glad fall practice is starting very soon. I am tired of watch lists and want to see actual football games.
More from Patrick Johnston:Tyrann Mathieu named to 2012 Walter Camp watch list
Stats from LSU Sports.net
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