HOUSTON -- California linebacker Mychal Kendricks and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz added to their lists of preseason national recognition when both were named to the 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List released Tuesday for the first time in their career.
Kendricks is a preseason honorable mention All-American choice of GoDaddy.com who is also on watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Lott IMPACT Trophy and the College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy.
Schwartz is a third-team preseason All-American of GoDaddy.com and also on the Outland Trophy Watch List.
Kendricks has played in all 38 games possible from 2008-10 with 18 career starts, all in the last two seasons. His 38 games played are tied with Schwartz for the most by any active Cal player heading into the 2011 campaign that he begins as the Golden Bears' active career leader in tackles (152), tackles for loss (22.0, -85 yards), sacks (10.5, -69 yards), fumble recoveries (5) and blocked kicks (1).
Last season, Kendricks earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors as one of the top big-play players in the league, leading Cal and ranking among the conference and national leaders with 8.5 sacks (0.71 per game, No. 2 Pac-10, No. 26-T NCAA) for -57 yards and 15.0 tackles for loss (1.25 per game, No. 4 Pac-10, No. 28-T NCAA) for -69 yards. He was also tied for first in the Pac-10 with three fumble recoveries (0.25 per game), while his 66 tackles was fourth on the team and his average of 5.5 stops per game ranked No. 31 in the Pac-10.
Schwartz has started all 38 games possible over the last three seasons at either left tackle (22) or right tackle (16), with his 38 career games played tied for the most by any active Cal player with Kendricks. Schwartz has been named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic in each of the last three campaigns (2008-10) and was a second-team All-Pac-10 choice in 2011 when he anchored an offensive line that blocked for 1,167-yard rusher Shane Vereen.
This is the 42nd year that the Rotary Lombardi Award has named the nation's college lineman of the year.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates also must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the NCAA.
The candidates earned a place on the official watch list by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first-team last season as selected by the conference's head coaches, by being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season, or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.
While the watch list highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) player who meets the above requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all FBS head coaches, and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the selection committee, will be periodically updated and revised up to the first round of voting to determine the 12 semifinalists for 2011.
The 42nd Rotary Lombardi Award will be held December 6-7, 2011 at Reliant Center, Houston, Texas. For more information on the two-day schedule of events and ticket opportunities, visit the award's website.