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Burfict on 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award watch list

April 30, 2010

The Rotary Lombardi Award Committee has released its preliminary watch list for the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award and Arizona State University sophomore middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict is one of the student-athletes highlighted.

Burfict (Corona, Calif./Centennial High School) is an athletic and powerful linebacker who has displayed dominance on the field since the first game of his career in 2009. He had one of the most productive freshman seasons in school history in which he was named Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Freshman of the Year. Selected to the Freshman All-American Team by and to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, Burfict also was named a Freshman All-American by and earned a spot on The Sporting News All-Pac-10 Freshman Team.

Burfict, who earned the starting middle linebacker spot in the fourth game of the season, finished his freshman season second on the team in total tackles with 69 (40 solo). He added seven tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. He led the team with two fumble recoveries and was tops among all linebackers with five pass breakups. Burfict appeared in all 12 games of the season and started the final nine. He led the team in tackles in five games and collected a season-high 11 tackles (three solo) and one and half tackles for loss at Georgia on Sept. 26.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors or by being named to their respective all-conference first team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2010 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.

While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division 1 player who meets the requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division 1-A 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 2010.

The 41st Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 7- 8, 2010 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. For more information on the two-day schedule of events, please visit

For a complete list of Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List student-athletes, please visit