Maualuga And Cushing Named Lombardi Award Semifinalists

Oct. 16, 2008

USC senior linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing are among the list of 12 semifinalists for the 39th Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia. The semifinalists were announced on Thursday (Oct. 16) at a kickoff event at SRO Sports Bar & Cafe in Houston, Tex.

The Lombardi Award is presented to college football's top lineman or linebacker. After four finalists are selected in November, this year's winner will be announced at the Dec. 10 awad dnner at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston.

Four offensive players and eight defensive players were named as semifinalists. The Big 12 Conference led with four players, followed by the SEC and Pac-10 with three each, while the Big Ten and Big East have one each.

Linebacker James Laurinaitis of Ohio State returns to the semifinalist list after being chosen as one of the final four for last year's 38th Rotary Lombardi Award, which went to LSU's Glenn Dorsey. Also returning from last year's semifinalist list are California's Alex Mack, Oklahoma's Duke Robinson and South Florida's George Selvie.

The 12 semifinalists are:

Brian Cushing, Linebacker, University of Southern California

Auston English, Defensive End, University of Oklahoma

James Laurinaitis, Linebacker, The Ohio State University

Alex Mack, Offensive Lineman, University of California

Rey Maualuga, Linebacker, University of Southern California

Michael Oher, Offensive Tackle, University of Mississippi

Brian Orakpo, Defensive End, The University of Texas

Duke Robinson, Offensive Lineman, University of Oklahoma

George Selvie, Defensive End, University of South Florida

Andre Smith, Offensive Lineman, University of Alabama

Brandon Spikes, Linebacker, University of Florida

Sean Weatherspoon, Linebacker, University of Missouri

Maualuga, a 2-time All-Pac-10 first teamer and the 2008 Rose Bowl Defensive MVP, currently has 27 tackles and he also intercepted a pass that he returned 48 yards for a touchdown against Ohio State. Cushing has 33 tackles, including 5 for losses (with 1.5 sacks), and 4 pass deflections in 2008.

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.

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