On Tuesday afternoon, the Rotary Club of Houston announced the 12 semifinalists for the coveted Lombardi Award, given to the best lineman (offense or defense) or linebacker in the country.
Among those on the list are Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, Missouri defensive end Shane Ray, USC defensive end Leonard Willaims and Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa.
The Pac-12 and SEC each have four members on the list while the Big Ten is right behind with three.
The Top-5 leaders in sacks found themselves as a semifinalists. Washington’s Hau’oli Kikaha leads the nation with 15.5 sacks, followed by Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright (12.0), Utah defensive end Nate Orchard (12.0), Missouri defensive end Shane Ray (12.0), and Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa (10.0)
Out of the Top-5 tacklers in the country, only Scooby Wright made the list with 97 total tackles.
Beasley is the only member of the list who a semifinalist last year as well.
There are two offensive lineman who made the cut, Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff and Auburn center Reese Dismukes.
The last offensive lineman to win the Lombardi Award was hall-of-famer and former Ohio State tackle Calvin Pace. He won the award in 1995 and 1996.
Other notable past winners include Warren Sapp, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Ndamukong Suh, and Luke Kuechly.
Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald won the award in 2013.
Below are the 12 semifinalists.
Joey Bosa (Defensive end) Ohio State
Vic Beasley (Defensive end) Clemson
Shilique Calhoun (Defensive end) Michigan State
Shane Ray (Defensive end) Missouri
Scooby Wright (Linebacker) Arizona
Leonard Williams (Defensive end) USC
Hau’oli Kikaha (Linebacker) Washington
Robert Nkemdiche (Defensive Tackle) Ole Miss
Nate Orchard (Defensive end) Utah
Benardrick McKinney (Linebacker) Mississippi State
Brandon Scherff (Tackle) Iowa
Reese Dismukes (Center) Auburn
*Section Photo credit to Rob Carr, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Joshua S. Kelly, USA Today Sports.