We'd Be Lion If We Said Penn State's List of Preseason Honors Wasn't Impressive

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We'd Be Lion If We Said Penn State's List of Preseason Honors Wasn't Impressive
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

A day after five Penn State players were named to the Maxwell Award and Chuck Bednarik Award watch lists, three Nittany Lions found themselves named to the watch list for the 2009 Lombardi Award.

Linebackers Sean Lee and Navorro Bowman and defensive tackle Jared Odrick, who were each named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, have been named to the watch list for the Lombardi Award. The Lombardi Award is given to the top lineman, on offense or defense, or linebacker in the nation by the Houston Rotary Club in Houston.

Only one Nittany Lion been honored with the award. All-American defensive lineman Bruce Clark was the first junior to win the Lombardi Award, doing so in 1978. Clark went on to have an interesting professional football career.

After being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 1980 NFL Draft, Clark opted to play in the Canadian Football League. After playing two seasons for the Toronto Argonauts, Clark went on to play for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football, where his leadership carried the team. Clark led the Dragons in sacks and started all 10 games.

Between stints on the international football stage, Clark played a combined eight seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.

Last year's recipient of the Lombardi Award was Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo.

Preseason accolades continue to pour in for quarterback Daryll Clark as well. Clark was named to the 2009 Manning Award watch list, as compiled by the Allstate Sugar Bowl committee, which sponsors the award. The Manning Award is the only college quarterback award that takes bowl game performances into account.

The Manning Award was first awarded in 2004 (Matt Leinart of USC), and no Penn State quarterback has won the award yet. Florida's Tim Tebow won the Manning Award last season and looks to become the first player to win multiple Manning Awards in its brief history.

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