By Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rice junior linebacker Alex Lyons and senior offensive lineman Andrew Reue have been named to the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List which was released on Tuesday. The 2015 list was compiled from those players who have earned All-American honors, been named to their respective all-conference teams or received 2015 preseason honors.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which was created in 1970, 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 Rotary Lombardi Watch List containing 145 players, is intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee and will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 semi-finalists for 2015.
Lyons led the Owls in tackles in his first year as a starter in 2014, finishing with 71. He was credited with five tackles for loss, including three sacks which were the most for a Rice linebacker since Brian Raines had three in 2007. He started all 13 games for the Owls during the Hawai’i Bowl championship season and was named to Steele’s All-Conference USA third team.
Reue heads into his senior year as one of the most experienced members of the squad, having played in 36 games including 26 starts. He has seen action all along the Owls offensive front but has made all 26 starts at right guard, including the last 13 consecutive games. He has been named to Phil Steel’s 2015 preseason All- C-USA team.
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 head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The 2015 Watch List includes Scooby Wright III, the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award winner. Also listed is Joey Bosa, 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Finalist, and semi- finalists Shilique Calhoun and Robert Nkemdiche.
The 46th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 9, 2015 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas. Proceeds from the Rotary Lombardi Awards stay in the Houston community and benefit the American Cancer Society, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centers / Children’s Cancer Hospital, and Texas Children’s Cancer Center. For more information on the schedule of events, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.
Rice opens the 2015 season on September 5 when they host Wagner at Rice Stadium. The Owls will open training camp for the 2015 season on August 6. Season ticket and min season ticket plans are currently on sale at Rice Athletic Ticket Office at Tudor Fieldhouse, by phone at (173) 348-OWLS or online