March 29, 2005
Three semifinalists for the 35th Rotary Lombardi Award -- including UCLA's Spencer Havner -- are among 54 players who have been included in the preliminary Watch List for the 36th Rotary Lombardi Award, which was released today in Houston. The 36th Rotary Lombardi Award will be presented on December 7 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston.
Linebackers Spencer Havner of UCLA and A.J. Hawk of Ohio State, along with center Greg Eslinger of Minnesota were among the 12 semifinalists last year and all have returned for their senior seasons. This marks the first time in three years that no finalist from the previous season returned to school for another year.
The 54 preliminary candidates earned a place on the initial Watch List by earning All-American honors at the end of the 2004 or previous seasons, or by being named to their respective All Conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2005 season, in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. While the Watch Lists highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Division I player who meets the position requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee, which is comprised of over 500 members, including all past finalists, all Division I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2005.