Nkemdiche Named To Lombardi Award Watch List

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Denzel Nkemdiche (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Denzel Nkemdiche (photo by Joshua McCoy)

July 15, 2013

HOUSTON, Texas – Denzel Nkemdiche added another preseason honor to his name on Monday when he was included on the preliminary watch list for the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award.

The rising sophomore linebacker from Ole Miss is one of 106 players on the watch list, including 18 from the Southeastern Conference.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2013 pre-season honors. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2013 season in order to identify other players who have received significant pre-season honors.

Nkemdiche is also on the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and has been tabbed preseason All-SEC and All-America this year by several magazines and websites that make early prognostications.

A native of Loganville, Ga., he led Ole Miss with 82 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and three interceptions as a redshirt-freshman last season. He earned Freshman All-America distinction, All-SEC second team and SEC All-Freshman accolades.

Other Rebels named to watch lists this preseason include Bo Wallace (Maxwell Award), Evan Swindall (Rimington Trophy) and D.T. Shackelford (Lott IMPACT Trophy, Butkus Award).

While the Rotary Lombardi Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division 1 player who meets the requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division 1 head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The 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 2013.

Full 2013 Lombardi Award Preliminary Watch List

The 44th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on Dec. 11, 2013 at the Wortham Center in Houston, Texas. For more information on the schedule of events, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.

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