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Ole Miss’ Robert Nkemdiche Named Semifinalist for Lombardi Award

Junior Robert Nkemdiche
Junior Robert Nkemdiche

Ole Miss junior defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award, which is given annually to college football’s best lineman, offense or defense.

A 6-foot-4, 296-pound junior defensive tackle, Nkemdiche has anchored the Rebels’ Landshark defense this season, while also providing some punch on offense. On defense, he has compiled 21 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. His constant pressure in opposing backfields helps the Ole Miss defense share the SEC lead with 12 interceptions and rank second in the league with 17 takeaways.

The Loganville, Georgia, native has moonlighted in the offensive backfield as well. He has scored three touchdowns – two rushing, one receiving – as a member of the Rebels’ “jumbo” package for short-yardage situations. He has also blocked a field goal and protects the Ole Miss punters on the punt unit.

Nkemdiche was named Midseason All-America and All-SEC by several media outlets. Earlier this week he was named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, and has appeared on watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy, among others.

Nkemdiche was also tabbed a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award as a sophomore last season.

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, and linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates also must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In addition, we consider the values and characteristics that exemplify the Lombardi legacy, leadership, discipline, sportsmanship and excellence of performance. The voting panel is made up of all FBS Head Football Coaches, past Rotary Lombardi Award Finalists and selected college football writers.

The 46th Rotary Lombardi Award ceremony will be held December 9, 2015, at Revention Music Center in Houston, Texas. The semifinalists were announced by the Rotary Club of Houston at NRG Stadium.

The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.

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

 

2015 Rotary Lombardi Award Semifinalists:

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

Joe Schobert, LB, Wisconsin

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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