Pair of B1G linemen among 4 finalists for the Lombardi Award
Four finalists for the Lombardi Award were announced on Tuesday in Houston. Big Ten linemen claimed half the spots.
The award is given annually to the offensive or defensive lineman who “in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach Vince Lombardi,” after whom the award is named.
The four finalists, announced by the Rotary Club of Houston, include Michigan defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green, and Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose.
Hutchinson, a senior and a captain for the Wolverines, is in the midst of a standout season. His 7 sacks are tied for 2nd in the Big Ten and 17th nationally. Frequently the center of attention for opposing offensive lines, the emphasis on slowing Hutchinson has helped his teammate, edge rusher David Ojabo on the other side, put up 8 sacks of his own. Nearly every NFL mock draft or big board has Hutchinson slotted as a future 1st-round NFL Draft selection.
Linderbaum is likely headed for the same fate. On the other side of the ball, Linderbaum anchors the offensive line for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The junior was one of 3 finalists for the Rimington Trophy in 2020. He was a 1st-team All-American by Pro Football Focus and The Athletic, an AP 2nd-team All-American, and a 1st-team All-Big Ten selection by league media last season.
The winner of this year’s Lombardi Award will be revealed at a ceremony on Dec. 8.