Four Big 12 players are part of a group of 17 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, which will be handed out Jan. 27 in Houston.
The Lombardi Award is presented to an NCAA Division I player, regardless of position, based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency.
The Big 12 semifinalists are led by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the Davey O’Brien Award. Mayfield led the Sooners to three straight Big 12 titles and two appearances in the College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington is the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, given to the nation’s best wide receiver. The unanimous All-American was also a three-time Big 12 selection during his career and holds several all-time OSU records.
Iowa State linebacker Joel Lanning was a quarterback for the Cyclones in 2016, but transitioned to middle linebacker for the 2017 season and was named All-Big 12 and a First-Team All-American at the position. He helped fuel Iowa State’s best season in years and upsets of both Oklahoma and TCU.
Texas safety DeShon Elliott rounds out the quartet, coming off an All-Big 12 season in which he picked off six passes and returned two for touchdowns. He finished his Texas career with a bowl win at the Texas Bowl vs. Missouri. He was also a Jim Thorpe award finalist.
Up to seven semifinalists will be selected by the award voters this week and announced next Monday, Jan. 22. Four of the finalists will be invited to the Lombardi Honors presentation that will include several other awards being recognized, including the Lombardi Coach of the Year. Last season, Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen won the Lombardi Award and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney was the Lombardi Coach of the Year.
The event will also include the induction of a college football icon into the Lombardi Hall of Fame, as well as honor a legendary collegiate coach, broadcaster and humanitarian. Roger Staubach will announce the newest member of the Lombardi Hall of Fame, who will join Jerry Kramer, Anthony Muñoz and Joe Moglia. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott will announce the recipient of the Legendary Coach Award, who will join Tom Osborne, LaVell Edwards and Lou Holtz as a recipient.