SEMI-FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Rotary Lombardi Award reveals list of semi-finalists for 2021

Rotary Lombardi Award reveals list of semi-finalists for 2021
The Rotary Lombardi Award has announced its list of semi-finalists for 2021. Photo by Wiki Commons.

The Rotary Lombardi Award annually goes to the college football offensive or defensive lineman, who in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach Vince Lombardi.
This year's list of 12 semi-finalists features a variety of standout players from across the country.

Alabama OLB Will Anderson

Alabama MLB Christian Harris

Alabama OL Evan Neal

BYU C James Empey

Florida State DE Jermaine Johnson

Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum

Iowa State LB Mike Rose

Kentucky OT Darian Kinnard

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson

Ohio State OL Thayer Munford

Penn State DT PJ Mustipher

Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green

The SEC features five semi-finalists with the Big Ten having four representatives on the list. The list of twelve semi-finalists will be pared down to four finalists to be revealed on November 9th. BYU, Iowa, Iowa State, and Kentucky would have their first winner, while a win by Ohio State's Thayer Munford would mark the seventh Buckeye to win.

The award ceremony will be held on December 8th in Houston and will feature the four finalists, their coaches, as well as the 1987 winner of the award, Chris Spielman. Honorary Chair and Famed Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer will preside over the event. Past winners include Ndamukong Suh, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Aaron Donald, and two-time winner Orlando Pace.
Net proceeds from the Award's activities are contributed to Cancer Research and specifically the American Cancer Society's programs.

For additional information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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