Aug. 29, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
With the kick-off of the college football season this week, the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List has added 59 players to the 54-player Preliminary Watch List, released in March.
One of the individuals added to this year's Rotary Lombardi Watch List is Wyoming junior defensive tackle John Fletcher. Fletcher, who was a Second Team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a sophomore, ranked No. 11 in the nation in sacks his sophomore season. He was named a 2008 Preseason First Team All-MWC pick by conference media prior to the start of this season.
Fletcher is one of 11 Mountain West Conference players named to this year's list.
The 39th annual Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia, honoring the top lineman in the Football Bowl Subdivision and benefiting the American Cancer Society, will be presented in Houston on December 10 at the Hilton Americas Hotel.
The new players were added to the Watch List based on various preseason honors and nominations from the schools' Sports Information Directors. Although the 113 players now on the Watch List are representative of the nation's top football linemen, the list is not intended to serve as the actual ballot when first round voting begins in late September.
While the Watch List highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Football Bowl Subdivision player who meets 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 for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee.
This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
In a repeat of last year, this year's list has more defensive players than offensive players. There are 64 defensive players and 49 offensive players. Following is the complete updated watch list:
Mountain West Conference Players on the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Watch List
John Fletcher, DT, Wyoming*
Russell Allen, LB, San Diego State*
Zane Beadles, OL, Utah*
Robert Conley, OL, Utah*
Erik Cook, OL, New Mexico*
Ray Feinga, OL, BYU
Jan Jorgensen, DL, BYU
Jason Phillips, LB, TCU*
Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
Dallas Reynolds, OL, BYU
Blake Schlueter, C, TCU*
*Indicates those added to the list in August of 2008