Long Named Semifinalist for Lombardi Award
Charlottesville, VA Virginia senior defensive end Chris Long (Ivy, Va.) has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2007 Rotary Lombardi Award. The announcement was made tonight by the Houston Rotary Club at its annual Lombardi Award Kickoff Dinner.
The Rotary Lombardi Award goes annually to the college football lineman — offense or defense — who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. The award was established by the Rotary Club of Houston in 1970. In addition to honoring the nation’s top lineman, the award also helps to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in Coach Lombardi’s name.
This year’s list of semifinalists includes eight defensive players and four offensive players. In addition to Long, the list of the other 11 semifinalists includes (alphabetical): LB Xavier Adibi (Virginia Tech), OT Sam Baker (USC), DE Calais Campbell (Miami), LB Don Connor (Penn State), DT Glenn Dorsey (LSU), LB James Laurinaitis (Ohio State), LB J Leman (Illinois), OT Jake Long (Michigan), C Alex Mack (California), OL Duke Robinson (Oklahoma) and DE George Selvie (South Florida).
Long leads the ACC and ranks fifth in the nation with eight sacks (1.14 per game) and is second in the country among linemen in passes defended (PBU+INT) with six. He is averaging 5.7 tackles per game. Long intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter at North Carolina to set up UVa’s final field goal in a 22-20 win and blocked a field goal attempt at Middle Tennessee in a 23-21 UVa win.
Long has been named to Mid-Season All-America teams by SportsIllustrated.com, Rivals and Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine. In addition to being named a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award, he is on the watch list for the Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player), the Nagurski Award (outstanding defensive player) and the Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year).
To be considered for the Rotary Lombardi Award players must be a Division I college football team member and meet the following qualifications:
* Be a down lineman, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, setting up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball at the time of snap.
* Be a linebacker on defense, setting up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
* May not come out of the offensive backfield and set up on the line of scrimmage as a blocker or receiver, or be listed as a back or receiver.
* Shows leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority and discipline.
The voting electorate is made up of the head coaches from all Division I schools, sports media personnel from across the country and former winners and finalists of the Rotary Lombardi Award. Currently the total number of voters is approximately 500. A second vote will take place later this season to select the four finalists who will be invited to the Awards Dinner in Houston.
This year’s winner will be announced Dec. 5 in Houston at the annual Lombardi Trophy Awards Dinner.