Mortensen Named To Lombardi Watch List

March 10, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Just two days before spring football practice starts at Kansas it was announced that Jayhawk Joe Mortensen was named to the watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award for the upcoming 2008 season.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The award is given annually to the nation’s top player who plays on the defensive line or within five yards of the football on defense.

Mortensen, a senior-to-be middle linebacker, led Kansas in tackles in 2007 with 106 stops. The 6-1, 250-pounder from Concord, Calif., was an All-Big 12 First-Team selection a year ago. He ranked ninth in the Big 12 in tackles and second in the league in tackles for loss with 15.

Mortensen recorded at least 10 tackles in four different games in 2007 with 13 stops against Florida International and Missouri and 11 tackles against KansasState and Colorado.

Last Saturday Mortensen was awarded the team’s defensive most improved honor at its public awards ceremony. In 2006 Mortensen played one of the outside linebacker positions. He switched to the middle last season and responded with an all-conference year.

The Lombardi 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 2008 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as preseason honors candidates.

While the Watch List highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Division 1 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 winners and finalists, all Division 1 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 2008.

2008 Rotary Lombardi Award Preliminary Watch List

Travis Beckum, TE, Wisconsin

Robert Brewster, OT, BallState

Diyral Briggs, DE, Bowling Green

Terrill Byrd, DT, Cincinnati

Ian Campbell, DE, KansasState

Solomon Elimimian, LB, Hawaii

Auston English, DE, Oklahoma

Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois

John Estes, OL, Hawaii

Maurice Evans, DE, PennState

Ray Feinga, OL, BYU

Andrew Gardner, OT, Georgia Tech

Dominic Green, OL, Nevada

Greg Hardy, DL, Ole Miss

Jason Harmon, TE, FloridaAtlantic

Darius Hill, TE, BallState

Daniel Holtzclaw, LB, Eastern Michigan

Phillip Hunt, DE, Houston

George Hypolite, DT, Colorado

Greg Isdaner, OL, West Virginia

Herman Johnson, OL, LSU

Jan Jorgensen, DL, BYU

Frantz Joseph, LB, FloridaAtlantic

Mitch King, DL, Iowa

James Laurinaitis, LB, OhioState

Boris Lee, LB, Troy

Adam Leonard, LB, Hawaii

Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas

Alex Mack, OL, California

Scott McKillop, LB, Pittsburgh

Gerald McRath, LB, Southern Miss

Matt Mandich, OL, ArkansasState

Rey Maualuga, LB, USC

Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana

Joe Mortensen, LB, Kansas

Clayton Mullins, OB, Miami (OH)

Eric Norwood, DE, South Carolina

Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss

Anthony Parker, OL, Tennessee

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, OklahomaState

Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU

Ryan Purvis, TE, BostonCollege

Nick Reed, DE, Oregon

Dallas Reynolds, OL, BYU

Duke Robinson, OL, Oklahoma

George Selvie, DL, S. Florida

A.Q. Shipley, C, PennState

Dion Small, OL, Troy

Andre Smith, OL, Alabama

Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida

Max Unger, OT, Oregon

David Veikune, DL, Hawaii

Vance Walker, DT, Georgia Tech

Eric Wood, C, Louisville