Derek Barnett tabbed one of 20 candidates for the Rotary Lombardi Award, recognizing outstanding performance and leadership in college football

Nov. 15, 2016

HOUSTON — Tennessee junior Derek Barnett has been named a Top 20 candidate for the Rotary Lombardi Award, as announced by the Rotary Lombardi Award committee on Tuesday.

Entering Week 12 of the 2016 season, Barnett has also been named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award for Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year, a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and a watch list nominee for the Ted Hendricks Award, honoring college football’s best defensive end.

Through Tennessee’s first 10 games this year, Barnett owns 42.0 total tackles, 10.0 sacks, 16.0 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and eight quarterback hurries. He is the only player in the Southeastern Conference with double-digit sacks this season, with all 10.0 of his sacks coming in SEC play. He ranks in a tie for sixth-most sacks on the season, nationally.

Barnett ranks second in career sacks for Tennessee with 30.0 and is just the second Volunteer in history to record 30.0 career sacks, chasing UT legend Reggie White with 32.0. His 30.0 career sacks are the most among all active FBS players. He also ranks third in school history with 49.0 tackles for loss.

Players earned a position on the preliminary Rotary Lombardi Award watch list by receiving All-American honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or by receiving 2016 preseason honors. The Top 20 nominations were narrowed by votes from an electorate made up of head coaches from all FCAA FBS winners and finalists, as well as sports journalists and members of the Football Writers Association of America. Currently there are approximately 400 voters.

Since 1970 the Lombardi Award has been presented to the nations’ top college football lineman. In 2016, eligibility advanced to include all player positions who demonstrate outstanding performance and skill in offensive or defensive positions and best exemplify the discipline, virtue and wisdom that defined Vincent Lombardi’s exceptional brand of leadership. The Top 20 selection includes a variety of player positions including four quarterbacks, five offense and 11 traditional defensive positions.

The award ceremony, that will be broadcast nationally, will be held in Houston on Saturday, February 11, 2017.