Mizzou Defensive End Michael Sam Named Lombardi Finalist


Tigers’ senior DE one of just four up for prominent national award

HOUSTON – Mizzou Football senior defensive end Michael Sam (Hitchcock, Texas) has been selected as one of four finalists for the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award, presented annually since 1970 to the nation’s top college football lineman. In the midst of an exemplary season with Mizzou’s stout defense, Sam has the chance to attain the award which honors the memory of Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers.

Michael-SamSam has been an impact player for Mizzou’s defense, vaulting the Tigers into the Top 10 in 2013. He currently leads the SEC in both tackles-for-loss (16.0 entering Saturday’s game at No. 24 Ole Miss), and sacks (10.0). He ranks sixth and seventh nationally, respectively, in those categories.

Three times this season, Sam has amassed 3.0 sacks in a game, which has only been accomplished 29 times across the FBS in 2013. His 21-yard fumble return for a touchdown at Georgia (Oct. 12) blew the contest wide open, helping ensure the 41-26 win.  His 10.0 sacks on the season are just 1.5 shy of the Mizzou single-season record of 11.5 set in 2009.

Each year the four finalists of the Lombardi Award travel to Houston for the presentation. While in the community, finalists make a stop at the Texas Medical Center to visit the Front Line Kids, children who are fighting cancer in local Houston hospitals. Since the award’s inception, millions has been raised to help fund cancer research, public education and direct services to cancer patients.

For more than forty years, the award has been presented annually to the nation’s best Division I college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Lombardi. Head coaches of NCAA FBS teams, all former winners and finalists of the Lombardi Award and selected members of the national sports media make up the electorate that decides the award winner.

The 2013 honoree will be announced at the Rotary Lombardi Award Presentation on Dec. 11 at the Wortham Center in downtown Houston. This year’s Rotary Lombardi Award ceremony will again be shown across the country via a live television broadcast on CBS Sports Network, hosted by Spencer Tillman.

Sam - LombardiOther finalists include Anthony Barr (LB, UCLA), Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh) and CJ Mosley (LB, Alabama).

For more information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

No. 8 Mizzou (9-1, 5-1) continues its push towards the postseason with a road trip to No. 24 Ole Miss on Saturday, Nov. 23. Kickoff is set for 6:45 p.m. on ESPN. The Tigers then close the regular season at home with Texas A&M on Nov. 30.