March 29, 2005
HOUSTON - University of New Mexico senior center Ryan Cook and senior nose tackle Marcus Parker were among 54 players who have been included in the preliminary Watch List for the 36th Rotary Lombardi Award, which was released today in Houston. Cook is on the watch list for the second straight year, while Parker is recognized for the first time in his career. Both players earned first team all-Mountain West Conference honors last year.
This marks the second straight year New Mexico has had a pair of players named to the Lombardi Award watch list. Cook and offensive lineman Claude Terrell both represented the Lobos in 2004. Cook was also a repeat watch list selection for the 2005 Rimington Trophy, which is given to the nation's best center, earlier this spring.
The 54 preliminary candidates earned a place on the initial Watch List by earning All-American honors at the end of the 2004 or previous seasons, or by being named to their respective All Conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches. The Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2005 season, in order to identify those players who have been selected as pre-season honors candidates.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. While the Watch Lists highlights players who have already received national recognition, any Division I player who meets the position requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee, which is comprised of over 500 members, including all past finalists, all Division I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2005.