WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Warford named to Lombardi watch list

University of Kentucky senior offensive lineman Larry Warford has yet another honor to hang his hat on this preseason as he has been named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, which annually honors the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker.

This is the third honor of the preseason for Warford, who was named as a first-team All-SEC Preseason Performer by league coaches and a member of the Outland Trophy Watch List last week. It marked the second consecutive first-team preseason selection for Warford.

Warford had an outstanding season in 2011, earning All-SEC second-team honors by SEC coaches, Associated Press and Phil Steele’s College Football/. The 6-foot-3, 343-pound offensive guard has led Kentucky in knockdown blocks each of the last two seasons, including 34 last season. Warford, who graded at 87.5 percent last year by the UK coaching staff, has played in 35 career games for Kentucky, including 25 consecutive starts. Prior to 2011, Warford was named Sophomore All-America second team by CollegeFootballNews.com in 2010, while also earning All-SEC second-team honors by SEC coaches, AP, Rivals.com and Phil Steele’s College Football.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to 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 linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.

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 I-A 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 I-A head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The selection committee with shorten the list to 25 quarterfinalists before going through another round of voting to highlight seven players. The third round of voting will determine the four finalists. The fourth and final round of voting will determine the winner of the 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award, which will be announced Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at The Hobby Center in Houston, Texas.


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