COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three Buckeyes were named to the preliminary Watch List for the 41st Rotary Lombardi Award. Senior linebacker Ross Homan, senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward and senior offensive guard Justin Boren all were named to the preseason list.
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 or by being named to their respective all-conference first team as selected by the conference’s head coaches. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2010 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
Boren, a Pickerington, Ohio native, was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the media last season. He started all 13 games at guard in 2009 and helped the Buckeyes rack up eight 200-yard rushing games and five straight to end the season. The eight 200-yard games are the most in the Jim Tressel era. The five-straight to end the season were the most consecutive since 1992.
Heyward, a second team All-Big Ten performer, helped anchor an Ohio State defense that allowed just 11 touchdowns over its past 43 quarters of play and ranked third nationally with 5.9 three-and outs per game. Considered by many NFL experts to be a top pick in the NFL draft had he left, Heyward was dominant at defensive end in 2009. He led the Buckeyes with 6.5 sacks and had 10 TFL and led all defensive linemen with 46 tackles. He had his best game of the year with 9 tackles and 2.0 sacks in the win at Penn State.
Homan, another second team All-Big Ten selection last season, led the Buckeyes with 108 tackles, including 57 solo. He also tied for the team lead with five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He had 15 tackles, 2.0 TFL and one forced fumble in the win over Wisconsin and had interceptions in four of the last five games, including 12 tackles and one interception in the Rose Bowl win over Oregon.
While the 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-A 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 2010.
Last year’s Rotary Lombardi Award winner, Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) was picked up by the Detroit Lions and Finalist Gerald McCoy (OU) by Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the First Round of the NFL Draft.
The 41st Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 7- 8, 2010 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. For more information on the two-day schedule of events, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.