Mike Rose, Iowa State’s star linebacker, is one of 12 college football players to make the Lombardi Award’s semifinalist list, released on Wednesday.
Rose, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, was a First-Team All-American a year ago. So far this season he has 34 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and a sack as the Cyclones (3-2, 1-1 in Big 12) prepare to face Kansas State this weekend.
Rose was on several defensive award watch lists to start the season.
The rest of the semifinalists include Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson, BYU center James Empey, Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green, Alabama middle linebacker Christian Harris, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson, Kentucky offensive tackle Darian Kinnard, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, Ohio State offensive lineman Thayer Munford, Penn State defensive tackle PJ Mustipher, Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal and Rose.
The Lombardi typically goes to the game’s best offensive or defensive linemen. But, a linebacker like Rose can be considered, so long as he sets up no further than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
The Lombardi Award is named for former NFL head football coach Vince Lombardi, who before serving as head coach of the Green Bay Packers was considered one of the game’s pre-eminent defensive minds, serving as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in the 1950s.
The second round of voting to reveal the final four finalists will begin on Oct. 15 and the nominees will be revealed on Nov. 9.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
**Want to win a $20 gift card? Go sign up here and join our conversation! The best poster each week wins a gift card to your favorite establishment!**