Caldwell On Lombardi Award Watch List
|ANNAPOLIS, Md.-Navy junior linebacker Rob
Caldwell (St. John, Ind.) is one of 44 players on the initial watch list for
the annual Lombardi Award. The 37h Rotary Lombardi Award will be presented
on December 6 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston. A.J. Hawk of Ohio
State was named the 36th winner of the award last year.
Caldwell is coming off a spectacular junior campaign, leading the Mids with 140 tackles, the most by a Navy player since Javier Zuluaga recorded 144 in 1993 and the seventh most in school history. Caldwell ranked 10th in the country in tackles per game (11.67) in 2005 and is the second leading returning tackler in the nation, behind Patrick Willis of Mississippi (12.80). Caldwell, who was a First-Team All-East selection, was one of just 13 players nationally to record 20 or more tackles in a game last year, recording 21 in Navy's thrilling win over Air Force.
The 44 preliminary candidates earned a place on the initial Watch List by earning All-American honors at the end of the 2005 or previous seasons, or by being named to their respective All Conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2006 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 Lists highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Division I player who meets the position requirements is eligible for consideration by the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of over 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 2006.
Founded in the weeks following the death of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi from cancer in 1970, the Rotary Lombardi Award presented by Wachovia Bank has annually delivered upon the mission set forth by Marie Lombardi when she first granted the use of her late husband's name. Her only stipulation was that all net proceeds from the event be donated to the American Cancer Society and over $3.3 million has been generated since that time, including over $140,000 in 2005.
Caldwell and his teammates will begin practicing for the 2006 season on March 27 with the start of spring practice.