The college football preseason award watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, announced on Monday, is one of the most expansive of all the individual awards, featuring 123 names from 73 different universities.
Fifteen of the 123 preseason candidates for the Lombardi Award play their football in the Big 12 conference. That is the most so far of any of the preseason award nominations including Big 12 student athletes.
The Lombardi Award, obviously named in honor of the former NFL coach and Hall of Famer, who also coached at Army as an assistant for five season in the collegiate ranks, is presented every season to the best interior lineman, on offense or defense, or to a linebacker who sets up no more than five yards from the line of scrimmage.
Big 12 preseason candidates on the 2014 Lombardi Award watch list:
Spencer Drango, tackle, junior, Baylor Bears
Bryce Hager, linebacker, senior, Baylor Bears
Shawn Oakman, defensive end, junior, Baylor Bears
Ben Heeney, linebacker, senior, Kansas Jayhawks
B.J. Finney, center, senior, Kansas State Wildcats
Ryan Mueller, defensive end, senior, Kansas State Wildcats
Cody Whitehair, offensive guard, junior, Kansas State Wildcats
Eric Striker, linebacker, junior, Oklahoma Sooners
Devonte Fields, defensive end, sophomore, TCU Horned Frogs
Chucky Hunter, defensive tackle, senior, TCU Horned Frogs
Steve Edmond, linebacker, senior, Texas Longhorns
Dominic Espinosa, center, senior, Texas Longhorns
Cedric Reed, defensive end, senior, Texas Longhorns
Quinton Spain, offensive guard, senior, West Virginia Mountaineers
Le’Raven Clark, tackle, junior, Texas Tech Red Raiders