2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Semi- Finalists
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 11/4/2014, 12:43 p.m.
HOUSTON – 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 senior defensive end Vic Beasley in 2014 is one of the most explosive pass rushers in the ACC. Bednarik, Hendricks, Lombardi, Nagurski, and Walter Camp Award Watch List’s member in the preseason. Also named preseason ACC Player-of-the-Year by Sporting News.
Joey Bosa is a physical and talented performer who started 10 times as a true freshman in 2013 ... he was named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News and College Football News and named honorable mention all-Big Ten Conference. He enters the 2014 season with at least one tackle-for-loss in six consecutive games (9.5 total TFLs in that time; -55 yards) and with at least one quarterback sack in five consecutive games.
Junior Shilique Calhoun was named a midseason All American and named to Watch lists for Walter Camp, Bednarik, Lombardi, and Nagurski Awards. Calhoun was 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and currently has five sacks and seven and half tackles for loss this season.
Reese Dismukes, a senior from Spanish Fort, Alabama is a four year starter for Auburn University. Playing center, he anchors the Tiger’s offensive line, and was selected as a preseason All-American coming into the 2014 season.
Hau’oli Kikaha was named the Midseason National Defensive Player of the Year by ESPN and also named to The Sporting News' Midseason All-America team and to Phil Steele's Midseason All-America second team. He is also one of 15 semi-finalists for the Butkus Award and enters the week of the Colorado game as the nation's sacks leader with 14.5, as well as the nation's tackles for loss leader, with 19.5.
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.