Bowman & Odrick Named to Watch List For 40th Rotary Lombardi Award
Presented to Nation's Top Lineman or Linebacker
March 3, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - A pair of Penn State's first team All-Big Ten performers have been named to the preliminary Watch List for the 40th Rotary Lombardi Award.
Linebacker Navorro Bowman (District Heights, Md.) and defensive tackle Jared Odrick (Lebanon) are among the candidates for the prestigious award, which is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football.
Penn State is the only Big Ten school and one of only eight schools nationally with more than one candidate on the 48-player list. Bowman and Odrick comprise half of the players from Big Ten schools on the Lombardi Award Watch List.
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 in 2008. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2009 season in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
Penn State All-American Dan Connor was a Rotary Lombardi Award semifinalist in 2007. Nittany Lion All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny was a finalist for the honor in 2005 and 2006.
Bowman capped an outstanding sophomore season by posting a Penn State bowl record five tackles for loss (minus-21 yards) vs. USC, tying the Rose Bowl record set by Ohio State's Andy Katzenmoyer in the 1997 game. Bowman recorded his fourth sack of the season among his eight tackles (seven solo) in the contest to earn a spot on the ESPN.com All-Bowl Team.
A starter in the final 10 games of 2008, Bowman finished the season with a team-leading 106 tackles (61 solo) and had 16.5 tackles for loss (minus-50). A first team All-Big Ten selection, the athletic and instinctive Bowman recorded four sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered one fumble, returned an interception 29 yards and had five pass break-ups last year. The former Suitland High School standout was fifth in the Big Ten in TFL and tied for No. 8 in tackles.
The Nittany Lions' defensive line will build around Odrick, who will be a senior this fall. Also a first team All-Big Ten honoree in 2008, Odrick is a strong and physical presence. He made 41 tackles, with 9.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks, good for second on the team. A starter in 11 games last year, the former Lebanon High School All-American should be a candidate for additional post-season accolades this season.
The 2009 Rotary Lombardi Award recipient will be announced December 9 at a dinner, which benefits the American Cancer Society, in Houston.
The Nittany Lions (11-2) won their second Big Ten title and Bowl Championship berth in the past four years during the 2008 season. Penn State was No. 8 in the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, earning its 22nd final Top 10 ranking under Coach Joe Paterno. The Lions won at least 11 games for the 14th time under the Hall of Fame coach.
Penn State has earned one of the nation's Top 10 records since the start of the 2005 season, posting a 40-11 (78.4) mark, good for No. 9 nationally. The Nittany Lions have won 42 of their last 53 games overall, dating to the final two games of the 2004 season.
Entering his 44th season as head coach and 60th on the Penn State coaching staff, Paterno returns 37 letterwinners for the 2009 campaign. The Nittany Lions will begin spring practice later this month.