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Senior One of Six Defensive Linemen From SEC


HOUSTON - Tennessee senior defensive lineman Malik Jackson was selected to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List on Tuesday, his third preseason nomination for a prestigious national honor. Last week, Jackson was named to both the Nagurski and Outland Trophy watch lists.


Jackson is one of six defensive linemen from the SEC eligible for the Lombardi Award, which recognizes the nation’s college lineman of the year.


Jackson led the Vols’ defensive line with 48 tackles in 2010, including a team-high 11 tackles for loss. The Northridge, Calif., native also ranked second on the UT squad with five sacks and third with four pass break-ups and five quarterback hurries.


Jackson’s production exploded after moving inside to defensive tackle at Georgia (Oct. 9). In the final eight games, the senior recorded 36 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, all five of his sacks, three QB hurries, four passes defended and an interception.


Tennessee has had two finalists and a pair of semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, which was first presented in 1970. Chip Kell (1970) and Reggie White (1983) were both finalists, while John Henderson (2001) and Jesse Mahelona (2005) were semifinalists.


Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no father than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates also must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).


The candidates earned a place on the Official Watch List by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first team last season as selected by the conference’s head coaches, by 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.


The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised up to the first round of voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2010.



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