Two Ducks, one Beaver nominated for award
Oregon State offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo and Oregon's DeForest Buckner and Tyler Johnstone were among the 145 players named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, released Tuesday by the Rotary Lombardi Award Committee.
The award is presented to college football’s lineman of the year.
A redshirt junior, Seumalo, has started all 25 games in which he’s played in his career, but most recently missed the entire 2014 season due to a foot injury. The Corvallis native earned Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team honors in 2013 and was honorable mention as a freshman. In addition, Seumalo was a Freshman All-American in 2012.
Despite playing the last three years on the same line as an eventual top-20 NFL draft pick, Buckner hasn’t gone unnoticed by the college football cognoscenti.
Oregon will play the 2015 season without defensive end Arik Armstead, who left the program after his junior season and was the No. 17 pick in this year’s NFL draft, by the San Francisco 49ers. But after leading the UO defensive line in tackles last season, Buckner opted to return to school and is gobbling up preseason honors.
Last week, Buckner was named to the watch lists for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, two national defensive player of the year honors. The newest body to add him to a watch list, the Lombardi Award committee, attempts to recognize the “down lineman, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set(s) 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.”
Johnstone made the Lombardi watch list despite missing all of the 2014 season due to injury. An honorable mention all-Pac-12 selection as a sophomore in 2013, Johnstone last week was named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy.
The Lombardi Award will announce 12 semifinalists in early November, and the winner a month later.
The 46th Lombardi Award will be held on December 9, 2015 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas.