HOUSTON, Texas – The preliminary watch list for the 2007 Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, was released today and Rutgers senior offensive tackle Jeremy Zuttah (Edison, N.J.) was one of 43 players named to the list.
Zuttah earned All-BIG EAST First Team honors as a junior in 2006 as one of the anchors of the Scarlet Knight offensive line. The unit allowed just eight sacks the entire season, the fewest amount in the nation. In addition, the offensive line helped pave the way for the nation's 15th-rated rushing offense, highlighted by All-American Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and his 1,794 rushing yards, the second-best total in the nation. The 1,794 rushing yards also established a new BIG EAST single-season record.
Rutgers finished the 2006 campaign 11-2 overall and was ranked 12th in the final collegiate rankings. The Scarlet Knights capped off the season with a 37-10 victory over Kansas State in the inaugural Texas Bowl.
The 43 preliminary candidates earned a place on the initial watch list by earning All-American honors or by being named to their respective all-conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2007 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. While the watch list highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Division I player who meets the position requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past finalists, all Division I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the selection committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 semifinalists for 2007.
This year's event, marking the 38th year of raising funds for the American Cancer Society while honoring college football's best lineman, will be held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston on December 5, 2007.
Tickets and table sales for the 2007 dinner will be available in May, shortly after the NFL Draft. For more information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.com.