Oct. 19, 2004
UCLA junior linebacker Spencer Havner, who leads the Pac-10 Conference in tackles, has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 35th Rotary Lombardi Award. The results of voting by the nearly 500 members of the Rotary Lombardi Award selection committee were released on Tuesday.
The winner of the 2004 Rotary Lombardi Award will be announced at the conclusion of the 35th anniversary Rotary Lombardi Award Dinner, which will be held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston. Since its inception in 1971, the Rotary Lombardi Award has raised over $3 million for the American Cancer Society.
Joining Havner on the list of semifinalists are 2003 finalist David Pollack, a defensive end from Georgia, a pair of Oklahoma Sooners, offensive tackle Jamal Brown and defensive end Dan Cody; Virginia guard Elton Brown, Southern California defensive end Shaun Cody, Minnesota center Greg Eslinger, Marshall defensive end Jonathan Goddard, Ohio State linebacker A. J. Hawk, Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James, Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson, and LSU defensive end Marcus Spears.
Nine of the 12 semifinalists are from the defensive side of the ball, including six defensive ends and three linebackers. Last year defensive tackle Tommie Harris of Oklahoma became the first interior defender to win the award since Warren Sapp in 1994, snapping a streak of four straight wins by defensive ends.
Pollack is tied for the SEC lead in sacks with four this year and needs just two more to set a Georgia career mark. Elton Brown was named the top blocker in the ACC last season and the Cavs have allowed the fewest sacks in the ACC this year. Jamal Brown has graded out the highest of any Oklahoma lineman in every game this season. Dan Cody picked up 2.5 sacks last week at Kansas State to run his career total to 19, sixth best at OU. Shaun Cody is a four-year starter at USC and has six sacks this season. Eslinger anchors the middle of the Gophers offense that is averaging over 400 yards per game. Goddard has 9.5 sacks this season and scored two defensive touchdowns. Havner has ranked among the nation's leaders in tackles all year. Hawk leads the Big 10 in with 12.3 tackles per game. James, who will miss this week's game with an ankle injury, leads the Big Ten with seven sacks. Johnson was named the Big XII Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and ran his career total tackles for loss total to 56, second best in Longhorn history. Spears anchors an LSU defense that ranks ninth in the country.
The list of 12 semifinalists will be cut down to four finalists during the next round of voting, which will begin on Monday, October 25. The four finalists will be announced on Tuesday, November 9.
Table sales for the 35th anniversary of the Rotary Lombardi Award are now on sale. Interested parties can call the Rotary Club of Houston office at (713) 973-9936 or by Logging on to www.rotarylombardiaward.com.
35th ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD SEMIFINALISTS
NAME SCHOOL POS HT WT YR HOMETOWN
Elton Brown Virginia OG 6-6 338 Sr. Hampton, VA
Jamal Brown Oklahoma OT 6-6 313 Sr. Lawton, OK
Dan Cody Oklahoma DE 6-5 270 Sr. Ada, OK
Shaun Cody USC DE 6-4 295 Sr. Hacienda, CA
Greg Eslinger Minnesota C 6-3 285 Jr. Bismark, ND
Jonathan Goddard Marshall DE 6-0 245 Sr. Jacksonville, FL
Spencer Havner UCLA LB 6-4 236 Jr. Nevada City, CA
A.J. Hawk Ohio State LB 6-2 238 Jr. Centerville, OH
Erasmus James Wisconsin DE 6-4 263 Sr. Pembroke Pines, FL
Derrick Johnson Texas LB 6-4 230 Sr. Waco, TX
David Pollack Georgia DE 6-3 260 Sr. Snellville, GA
Marcus Spears LSU DE 6-4 298 Sr. Baton Rouge, LA