Jacob Richard, a junior center on the Ball State football team, has been named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List.
"Jake is an outstanding center, both in terms of his physical abilities and his leadership skills," Ball State head coach Pete Lembo said. "He is a former walk-on who has risen through the ranks to become a captain and an All-MAC performer. His quick feet, power and flexibility enable him to play the position with great leverage. Beyond his on-field impact, Jake has been an honor roll student and has held summer internships at three different businesses in the Muncie community. We are excited that he has two seasons of eligibility remaining."
The Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards from the line of scrimmage.
A 2013 All-Mid-American Conference Third Team selection, Richard started 12 games for the Cardinals last season and has started 16 games in his first two seasons. Richard was part of an offensive line that blocked for record-setting 2013 seasons by quarterback Keith Wenning, wide receiver Willie Snead and running back Jahwan Edwards. He also helped Ball State rank 17th in the nation for fewest sacks allowed with an average of only 1.17 per game
"This is one of our favorite times of the year," Rotary Lombardi Award committee chair Brian Carr said. "The dog days of summer are when people start thinking about college football again. We are ready to see who is going to distinguish themselves this year, and we look forward to tracking the progress of each player on this list."
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 2014. The 45th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas.