Hansen, Van Noy named to Lombardi Award Watch List

Kyle Van Noy helped lead BYU to victory with a sack, strip and fumble recovery for the game-winning touchdown at Ole Miss in 2011. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

HOUSTON  – The Rotary Club of Houston today announced the 43rd Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Official Watch List. The Rotary Lombardi Award is given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year.

BYU senior offensive lineman Braden Hansen and junior outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy were both named to the list.

Hansen has started all 39 games of his career for the Cougars, on pace to tie the BYU record of 52 consecutive starts. A product of Sandy, Utah, Hansen has helped BYU to 28 wins over the last three years and three straight bowl victories. Hansen has also been named to the Outland Trophy Watch List for the second-consecutive season.

Van Noy led the Cougars in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (15.0) in 2011 to go along with his 68 total tackles. A 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Reno, Nev., Van Noy was the only Division I player to record a statistic in each of the major defensive categories including tackle, tackle for loss, sack, quarterback hurry, pass breakup, interception, forced fumble, fumble recovery and blocked kick. Van Noy was also recently named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list for the nation’s best defensive player.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to: 1) offensive or defensive end-to-end down linemen who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball and 2) linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The candidates earned a place on the Official Watch List by: earning All-American honors last season; being named last season to their respective all-conference first team as determined by the conference’s head coaches; being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season; or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.

While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division IA player who meets the above requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee. The committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division IA head coaches, and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List is a reference tool for the Selection Committee. It will be periodically revised until the first round of voting is completed. The first round of voting determines the Top 25 Quarter finalists for 2012.   The second round of voting will determine the final 7 semi-finalists or "Seven Blocks of Granite".  The third round of voting will determine the "four- finalists from the "Seven Blocks of Granite".  The fourth and final round of voting will determine the winner of The 43rdRotary Lombardi Award which will be announced on national television live in "prime-time" 8-9 PM (CST) Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at The Hobby Center in Houston, TX (network to be determined). 

Last year’s 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award winner, Luke Kuechly (LB-Boston College) was drafted by the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL).  He was selected by the Panthers with the 9th overall pick of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. 

Other 2011 Rotary Lombardi finalists, Dont'a Hightower (LB - Alabama) was the overall 25th pick in the first round of the NFL draft by the New England Patriots; Courtney Upshaw, (OLB - Alabama) was the overall 35th pick by the Baltimore Ravens; Jonathan Martin (OT-Stanford) was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the Second round and the 42nd pick overall.”