Oct. 18, 2007
BERKELEY - Alex Mack, a junior center for the University of California football team, has been selected as one of 12 semifinalists for the 38th Rotary Lombardi Award presented by Wachovia as selected by the Rotary Club of Houston. Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football.
Mack was one of 43 candidates on the award's preseason watch list; he was also named to preseason Watch Lists for the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center) and the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman). He has lived up to his preseason billing as well, anchoring the Golden bear offensive line which has opened holes for five 100-yard rushing games by tailback Justin Forsett while allowing just seven sacks this season. Mack has been selected as the top center in the nation at the midpoint of the season by Phil Steele's Magazine as well as a Midseason First-Team All-American by SI.com. The Sporting News rates him as the No. 3 center in the nation and ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., ranks him as the top junior center in the country.
The semifinalists were selected by a panel of more than 500 members, including all past finalists, all Division I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
California has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation this season and they currently stand at No. 9 in the Associated Press poll. Cal plays at UCLA on Saturday in a key Pac-10 showdown (ABC, 12:30 p.m. Pacific).
Founded in the weeks following the 1970 death from cancer of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, the Rotary Lombardi Award has consistently delivered upon the mission set forth by Marie Lombardi when she granted the use of her late husband's name. Her only stipulation was that all net proceeds from the event be donated to the American Cancer Society. Millions of dollars have been raised since that time.
This year's dinner will be held on December 5 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Downtown Houston. For tickets and table sales information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.com.
The Rotary Club of Houston, in operation since 1912, is an association of more than 350 successful business professionals, all prominent in their individual fields of endeavor, who volunteer their efforts through the work of some two dozen club committees. Assistance is provided to such diverse groups as troubled youngsters, former prison inmates, business oriented high school students, families of cancer patients, deserving college scholarship candidates and the nation's cancer research efforts. The club's most recent community project is the East End Healthy Children's Collaborative which provides much needed access to primary health care for residents on Houston's East side.
2007 Rotary Lombardi Award Semifinalists
Xavier Adibi, Linebacker, Virginia Tech
Sam Baker, Offensive Tackle, USC
Calais Campbell, Defensive End, University of Miami
Dan Connor, Linebacker, Penn State
Glenn Dorsey, Defensive Tackle, LSU
James Laurinaitis, Linebacker, Ohio State
J Leman, Linebacker, University of Illinois
Chris Long, Defensive End, University of Virginia
Jake Long, Offensive Lineman, University of Michigan
Alex Mack, Center, University of California
Duke Robinson, Offensive Lineman, University of Oklahoma
George Selvie, Defensive End, University of South Florida