The Rotary Lombardi Award is handed out annually to the top lineman or linebacker in college football. However, there are some eligibility rules for the award. Players must be "offensive or defensive end-to-end down linemen who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball" or "linebackers who set up no farther than 5 yards deep from the line of scrimmage." The initial list will be narrowed to down 25 quarterfinalists then to seven semifinalists to four finalists. The winner will be announced on Dec. 5. Alabama led the SEC with six players making the watch list. LSU has had one previous winner (Glenn Dorsey, 2007).
Faulk and Hurst, who were also named to the 2012 Outland Trophy watch list, are a very effective offensive tackle combination for the Tigers. The pair had knockdown blocks on a combined 9.2% of their total snaps in 2011. Mingo and Montgomery are just as efficient on defense. Both players are defensive ends. Last season, they combined for 28.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. Mingo and Montgomery are also on the watch list for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy. Both awards honor the best defensive player in college football. All four of these players were named to the All-SEC teams by the SEC coaches. Hurst was first-team offense and Faulk was second-team offense while Mingo and Montgomery were both first-team defense.
While all of the Tigers on the Lombardi list have showed up on multiple watch lists now, LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan continues to be snubbed. The Outland Trophy watch list for top interior lineman is the only list Logan has appeared on this preseason. The SEC coaches also failed to name him to any of the three All-SEC teams. Logan's presence in the middle freed up Mingo and Montgomery to make their plays and he still made 57 tackles (6.5 for loss) and three sacks in 2011. If Logan did not have enough motivation from LSU's runner-up finish to Alabama last season, the limited preseason recognition he has received this year could serve as fuel for the 2012 season.
As an LSU fan, I wouldn't mind seeing one of the Tigers win the Lombardi Award as Dorsey did in 2007.
More from Patrick Johnston:LSU lands 11 players on SEC Coaches' Preseason All-SEC teams
Stats from LSU Sports.net
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