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Tennessee junior linebacker Jerod Mayo and sophomore center Josh McNeil have their names among players to watch for a couple of key 2007 postseason awards. Mayo is on the watch list for the 2007 Rotary Lombardi Award, while McNeil has his named listed among the Dave Rimington Trophy hopefuls.
The 38th annual Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia, honoring the top lineman in college football and benefiting the American Cancer Society, will be presented in Houston on Dec. 5 at the Hilton Americas Hotel.
Mayo enters this year as a consensus preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection after compiling 83 tackles last season. The Hampton, Va., native was among the league leaders in tackles until a late-season injury slowed him down, but he still earned second-team All-America honors from Rivals.com.
Although the 103 players now on the Watch List are representative of the nation’s top football players, the list is not intended to serve as the actual ballot when first round voting begins in late September. As recently as 2005, Elvis Dumervil, one of the final four finalists that year, was not included on the Watch List at the start of the season. Any player meeting the basic award criteria -- a down lineman on either side of the ball including tight ends, and linebackers who line up within five yards of the ball -- is eligible to receive votes.
McNeil is one of only five sophomores on the Rimington list.
The Rimington Trophy is in its eighth year of recognizing the most outstanding Center in college football.
The spring Watch List, released this past May, has been updated as teams made adjustments to their offensive lines in final preparation for the upcoming season. The list features a total of 54 players, making it easily the largest Rimington Trophy Watch List to date.
West Virginia University's Dan Mozes won the 2006 Rimington Trophy and is currently playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Other recipients include Minnesota's Greg Eslinger, Michigan's David Baas (2004 co-winner), LSU's Ben Wilkerson (2004 co-winner), Virginia Tech's Jake Grove, Miami's Brett Romberg, Ohio State's LeCharles Bentley, and Nebraska's Dominic Raiola.
The winner is selected by determining the consensus All-America center pick from four existing All-America teams: American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, and Football Writers Association of America.
The winner will be honored at an awards banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 12, 2008.
2007 ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST:
Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech; Jeff Akeroyd, OL, Houston; Sam Baker, OT, Southern California; Kirk Barton, OL, Ohio State; Tommy Blake, DE, TCU; Alex Boone, OL, Ohio State; Alvin Bowen, LB, Iowa State; Jasper Brinkley, LB, South Carolina; Eben Britton, OT, Arizona; Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech; George Bussey, OT, Louisville; Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada; Terrill Byrd, DT, Cincinnati; Matt Castelo, LB, San Jose State; Calais Campbell, DE, Miami; Ian Campbell, DE, Kansas State; Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College; Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State; Chris Clark, OL, Southern Mississippi; Nelson Coleman, LB, Tulsa; Dan Connor, LB, Penn State; Maurice Crum Jr, LB, Notre Dame; Matt Castelo, LB, San Jose State; Andrew Crummey, OG, Maryland; Kyle Cunningham, OT, Louisiana-Monroe; Bruce Davis, DE, UCLA; Ward Dobbs, LB, Wyoming; Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU; Keilen Dykes, DT, West Virginia; Kirk Elder, OG, Texas A&M; Sedrick Ellis, DT, Southern California; Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois; Eric Foster, DT, Rutgers; Drew Fowler, LB, Air Force; Jonathan Goff, LB, Vanderbilt; John Greco, OT, Toledo; Vernon Gholston, DL, Ohio State; Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn; Vince Hall, LB, Virginia Tech; Chris Harrington, DE, Texas A&M; Andrew Hartline, OL, Central Michigan; Brigham Harwell, DT, UCLA; Robert Henderson, DL, Southern Mississippi; Robby Heos, OL, Rice; Adam Hill, C, Louisiana-Monroe; Darius Hill, TE, Ball State; Tony Hills, OL, Texas; Louis Holmes, DE, Arizona; Dan Holtzclaw, LB, Eastern Michigan; Joey Hudson, LB, Miami (OH); Philip Hunt, DL, Houston; Ken Iwebema, DL, Iowa; Lawrence Jackson, DE, Southern California; Tavares Jones, DE, Middle Tennessee; Steve Justice, C, Wake Forest; Thomas “Red” Keith, LB, Central Michigan; James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State; Trevor Laws, DE, Notre Dame; Doug Legursky, OL, Marshall; J Leman, LB, Illinois; Kory Lichtensteiger, OL, Bowling Green; Derek Lokey, DL, Texas; Chris Long, DE, Virginia; Jake Long, OT, Michigan; Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas; Alex Mack, C, California; Gerald McRath, LB, Southern Mississippi; Rey Maualuga, LB, Southern California; JEROD MAYO, LB, TENNESSEE; Albert McClellan, DE, Marshall; James McClinton, DL, Kansas; Drew Miller, OL, Florida; Shawn Nelson, TE, Southern Mississippi; Frank Okam, DT, Texas; Chase Ortiz, DE, TCU; Michael Oher, OL, Ole Miss; Jeremy Perry, OG, Oregon State; Jason Phillips, LB, TCU; Josh Pinnick, DL, Florida Atlantic; Mike Pollak, C, Arizona State; DeMario Pressley, DT, North Carolina State; Barry Richardson, OT, Clemson; Steve Rissler, C, Florida; Keith Rivers, LB, Southern California; Duke Robinson, OL, Oklahoma; Brandon Rodd, OL, Arizona State; Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri; Bo Ruud, LB, Nebraska; Tom Santi, TE, Virginia; Matt Slauson, OL, Nebraska; John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame; Jacob Tamme, TE, Kentucky; Christian Taylor, LB, UCLA; Shannon Tevaga, OG, UCLA; Brandon Thompson, DE, Army; William VanDeSteeg, DL, Minnesota; David Vobora, LB, Idaho; Erik Walden, DL, Middle Tennessee; Cody Wallace, C, Texas A&M; Philip Wheeler, LB, Georgia Tech; Chris Williams, OL, Vanderbilt; Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky; Jeremy Zuttah, OL, Rutgers.
2007 RIMINGTON TROPHY WATCH LIST:
Corey Actis, Mississippi; Kenny Alfred, Washington State; Sete Aulai, Brigham Young; Royce Blackledge, Mississippi State; Tim Bond, Wyoming; Jason Bosley, Auburn; Brett Byford, Nebraska; Antoine Caldwell, Alabama; Marcus Coleman, Wisconsin; Jim Cordle, Ohio State; Mike Dent, West Virginia; Alex Derenthal, Temple; Kyle DeVan, Oregon State; Rafael Eubanks, Iowa; Robby Felix, UTEP; Juan Garcia, Washington; Dominic Green, Nevada; Blaine Guenther, Air Force; Kyle Gunther, Utah; Antron Harper, Navy; Brett Helms, LSU; Adam Hill, Louisiana-Monroe; Chris Joseph, UCLA; Steve Justice, Wake Forest; Adam Korby, Idaho; Robbie Krutilla, Western Michigan; Doug Legursky, Marshall; Scott Lenahan, North Carolina; Kory Lichtensteiger, Bowling Green; Jordy Lipsey, Virginia; Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas; Alex Mack, California; Tim Mattran, Stanford; Ryan McDonald, Illinois; JOSH McNEIL, TENNESSEE; Drew Miller, Florida; Trey Miranne, Army; Justin Paysinger, San Jose State; Mike Pollak, Arizona State; Robbie Powell, Purdue; Daniel Sanders, Colorado; Blake Schlueter, Texas Christian; Kevin Sheridan, Boston College; A.Q. Shipley, Penn State; Adam Spieker, Missouri; John Sullivan, Notre Dame; Ryan Tonnemacher, Utah State; Lafu Tuioti-Mariner, Hawaii; Kevin Tuminello, Georgia Tech; Cody Wallace, Texas A&M; Ryan Wendell, Fresno State; Austin Wilkinson, Rice; Eric Wood, Louisville; Ben Wyss, Indiana.