Lombardi Award Watch List 2014: Full List Released

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2014

USA Today

The 2014 college football season is approaching fast, and the focus has shifted to the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list and which linemen and linebackers will be fighting for the prestigious honor throughout the season.

The award is given to the best lineman (offensive or defensive) or linebacker in the country, and the voting is done by Division I head coaches, sports media and former winners and finalists of the honor.

While 123 names on the list is a lot right now, over the course of the regular season, the top players will prove their worth and others will falter under the pressure. By the end of the year, there will be a clear tier of elite players to be considered.

Here is the full watch list and a breakdown for one of the top contenders to win the 2014 Lombardi Award.

2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List
Henry Anderson, DE, Sr. – Stanford
Stephone Anthony, LB, Sr. – Clemson
Chi ChiAriguzo, LB, Sr. – Northwestern
T.T. Barber, LB, Jr. - Middle Tennessee State
Jamaal Bass, LB, Sr. – Northern Illinois
Vic Beasley, DE, Sr. – Clemson
Michael Bennett, DT, Sr. – Ohio State
Austin Blythe, C, Jr. – Iowa
Joey Bosa, DE, So. – Ohio State
Brett Boyko, T, Sr. – UNLV
Kelby Brown, LB, Sr. – Duke
Brandin Bryant, DT, Jr. – Florida Atlantic
Shilique Calhoun, DE, Jr. – Michigan State
AJ Cann, G, Sr. – South Carolina
Justin Cherocci, LB, Sr. – Central Michigan
Le’Raven Clark, T, Jr. – Texas Tech
Ben Clarke, C, Jr. – Hawaii
La’El Collins, T, Sr. – LSU
Christian Covington, DT, Jr. – Rice
Carl Davis, DT, Sr. – Iowa
Tyeler Davison, DT, Sr. – Fresno State
Reese Dismukes, C, Sr. – Auburn
Jamil Douglas, G, Sr. – Arizona State
Spencer Drango, T, Jr. – Baylor
Ejiro Ederaine, LB, Jr. – Fresno State
Steve Edmond, LB, Sr. – Texas
Mario Edwards, DE, Jr. – Florida State
Cameron Erving, T, Sr. Florida State
Dominic Espinsoa, C, Sr. – Texas
Kyler Frackrell, LB, Jr. – Utah State
Devonte Fields, DE, So. – TCU
BJ Finney, C, Sr. - Kansas State
Trey Flowers, DE, Sr. – Arkansas
Leonard Floyd, LB, So. – Georgia
Alani Fau, LB, Sr. – BYU
Bryce Giddens, C, Jr. – Arkansas State
Hroniss Grasu, C, Sr. Oregon
Randy Gregory, DE, Jr. – Nebraska
Bryce Hager, LB, Sr. – Baylor
Justin Hamilton, DT, Sr. – UL-Lafayette
Lincoln Hansen, T, Sr. - Eastern Michigan
Rob Havenstein, T, Sr. –Wisconsin
Brock Hekking, DE, Sr. – Nevada
Ben Henney- LB, Sr. – Kansas
Treyvon Hester, DT, So. - Toledo
Sean Hickey, T, Sr. - Syracuse
Jermaine Holmes, LB, Sr. - Marshall
Chucky Hunter, DT, Sr. - TCU
Martin Ifedi, DE, Sr. - Memphis
Scott Inskeep, G, Sr. - UTEP
Myles Jack, LB, So. - UCLA
Tre Jackson, G, Sr. - Florida State
Grady Jarrett, DT, Sr. - Clemson
Chris Jasperse, C, Sr. – Marshall
Cameron Jefferson, G, Sr. - UNLV
Chris Johnson, LB, Sr. - Navy
Kaleb Johnson, G, Sr. - Rutgers
A.J. Johnson, LB, Sr. - Tennessee
Gerrand Johnson, DT, Jr. - UL-Monroe
Tyler Johnstone, T, Jr. - Oregon
Chris Jones, DT, So. - Mississippi State
Bronson Kaufusi, LB, Jr. - BYU
Eric Kendricks, LB, Sr. - UCLA
Andrae Kirk, LB, Sr. - Florida Atlantic
ArieKouandjio, G, Sr. - Alabama
Qushaun Lee, LB, Sr. - Arkansas State
Cyril Lemon, G, Sr. - North Texas
Braden Lyons, T, Sr. - Florida Atlantic
Luther Maddy, DT, Sr. - Virginia Tech
Derrick Malone, LB, Sr.- Oregon
Greg Mancz, G, Sr. - Toledo
Nick Martin, OL, Sr. - Notre Dame
Shaquille Mason, G, Sr. - Georgia Tech
Tyler Matakevich, LB, Jr. - Temple
Josue Matias, G, Sr. - Florida State
Derrick Mathews, LB, Sr. - Houston
David Mayo, LB, Sr. - Texas State
Benardrick McKinney, LB, Jr. - Mississippi State
Silverberry Mouhon, DE, Jr. - Cincinnati
Ryan Mueller, DE, Sr. - Kansas State
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, So. - Ole Miss
Shawn Oakman, DE, Jr. - Baylor
Cedric Ogbuehi. T, Sr. - Texas A&M
Andrus Peat, T, Jr. - Stanford
Remington Peck, DL, Jr. - BYU
Denzel Perryman, LB, Sr. - Miami
Andy Phillips, G, Sr. - Central Michigan
Terrance Plummer, LB, Sr. - UCF
Hayes Pullard, LB, Sr. - USC
Mykhael Quave, T, Jr. - UL-Lafayette
Daniel Quave, G, Sr. - UL-Lafayette
Cedric Reed, DE, Sr. –Texas
Jacob Richard, C, Jr. - Ball State
Tyler Roberts, DE, Jr. - Troy
A'Shawn Robinson, DE, So. - Alabama
Jake Ryan, LB, Sr. - Michigan
Ty Sambrailo, T, Sr. - Colorado State
Brandon Scherff, T, Sr. - Iowa
Isaac Seumalo, C, Jr. - Oregon State
Danny Shelton, DT, Jr. - Washington
Steve Shumaker, OL, Sr. - Army
Robert Singletary, DE, Sr. - UTSA
Jake Smith, C, Sr. - Louisville
Jaylon Smith, LB, So. - Notre Dame
Quinton Spain, G, Sr. - West Virginia
Eric Striker, LB, Jr. - Oklahoma
Junior Sylvestre, LB, Sr. - Toledo
AJ Tarpley, LB, Sr. - Stanford
Shaq Thompson, LB, Jr. - Washington
Laken Tomlinson, G, Sr. - Duke
Dominique Tovell, DE, Jr. - UL-Lafayette
Max Tuerk,G, Jr. - USC
Clint Van Horn, T, Jr. - Marshall
Zach Virgil, LB, Sr. - Utah State
Diaheem Watkins, DE, Sr. - UAB
Cody Whitehair, G, Sr. - Kansas State
Cody Wichmann, G, Sr. - Fresno State
Ucambre Williams, T, Sr. - South Alabama
Leonard Williams, DE, Jr. - USC
Ramick Wilson, LB, Sr. - Georgia
Eddie Yarbrough, DE, Jr. - Wyoming
Mason Y'Barbo, G, Sr. - North Texas
Source: RotaryLombardiAward.org


Player to Watch: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

There are few players who entered the college football ranks with as much publicity as Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche. In his freshman season with Mississippi, Nkemdiche learned on the job and blossomed into an elite player.

The Rebels are hoping for even more progress in 2014.

With his older brother Denzel on the team as well, the transition to college football was seamless and Robert has taken advantage of every opportunity afforded to him on the field. Not only is the team proud to have the defensive star, but now he is also garnering the national attention he deserves.

Besides the Lombardi Award nomination, Ole Miss reporter Evelyn VanPelt talked about the other watch list Nkemdiche made this summer:

Rotary Lombardi Award committee chair Brian Carr commented on why he loves the summer and the watch list, via James Crepea of the Montgomery Advertiser:

This is one of our favorite times of the year. The dog days of summer are when people start thinking about college football again. We are ready to see who is going to distinguish themselves this year, and we look forward to tracking the progress of each player on this list.

Nkemdiche should be one of those players who progresses with each passing week.

There are high expectations on the sophomore after such a strong freshman campaign, but he has the potential to live up to them. Nkemdiche managed to rack up an impressive 34 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks in just 11 games.

With a year to develop under the training staff of Ole Miss and the focus on improving his game this offseason, the Rebels will be looking for Nkemdiche to become a difference-maker starting in Week 1 and help carry the team throughout the season.

Ole miss has a real chance to contend in the SEC, and Nkemdiche will be one of the keys to how much success the program finds. If he embraces a leadership role and leads by example on and off the field, a Lombardi Award is a very realistic possibility.

Yet he'll have plenty of worthy competition, as evidenced by the impressive list of names he's set to contend with for the honor.


*Stats via CFBStats.com.