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Ole Miss’ Nkemdiche, Tunsil Make Lombardi Award Watch List

Hottytoddy.com file photo
Hottytoddy.com file photo

Ole Miss junior defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and junior offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil were recognized Tuesday on the preseason watch list for the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award 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 candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2015 preseason honors.

Nkemdiche is regarded as one of the nation’s premier defensive players as a 6-foot-4, 296-pound defensive tackle. The Loganville, Georgia, native was a second team All-America pick and first team All-SEC selection last year when he tallied 35 tackles, 4.0 TFLs and two sacks and helped Ole Miss lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 16.0 points per game. In his two-year career, he has 69 tackles, 12.0 TFLs and 4.0 sacks.

He has also been named to preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy. He was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award last season.

Tunsil is one of the country’s top returning offensive linemen. He has been the Rebels’ full-time starting left tackle since the early portion of his freshman year and has been personally responsible for only two sacks during that time. The Lake City, Florida, native earned several second- and third-team All-America accolades and was an All-SEC first team pick by the Associated Press last year.

He was also on the Outland Trophy preseason watch list, announced last week.

The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2015 season in order to identify other players who have received significant preseason honors.

While the watch list highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division I 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 I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The ceremony for the 46th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held Dec. 9, 2015 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston. 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.

Other preseason watch lists that have been announced:
– Tony Conner – Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award
– Evan Engram – John Mackey Award
– Hugh Freeze – Dodd Trophy
– Will Gleeson – Ray Guy Award
– Robert Nkemdiche – Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy
– Laquon Treadwell – Maxwell Award
– Laremy Tunsil – Outland Trophy
– Jaylen Walton – Paul Hornung Award

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/OleMissFootball), in addition to www.OleMissSports.com.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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