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Three Trojans named to Lombardi Award watch list

HOUSTON, Texas — Three senior Troy Trojans are among the 48 players named to the 2009 Rotary Lombardi Award preliminary watch list released Monday afternoon.

Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo won the 39th Rotary Lombardi Award last year.

Boris Lee returns to anchor the defense from his middle linebacker position, an All-Conference selection in the Sun Belt Conference who recorded a team-high 126 total tackles. He recorded 73 solo tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss (37 yards), to go along with 4.5 sacks.

He is joined on the list by the two bookends returning for their senior season, Brandon Lang and Cameron Sheffield.

Lang returns as the team’s seventh-leading tackler with 69 total tackles, including 44 solo tackles and a team-high 17.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded 10.5 sacks and 28 quarterback hurries.

Meanwhile, Sheffield recorded 66 total tackles, with 50 solo tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss. He also recorded 5.5 sacks and recovered two fumbles for the Trojans last season.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. The 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. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2009 season.

Troy has the most players on the preliminary watch list with three players.