Oct. 14, 2009
HOUSTON - Oklahoma State senior offensive lineman Russell Okung has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which is presented annually to the nation's lineman of the year by the Rotary Club of Houston.
The award will be officially presented on Dec. 9. The winner is selected by a panel of football coaches, sports media and former winners and finalists. Overall, approximately 500 people are involved in the selection process. The list of semifinalists was trimmed from the original watch list of 153 players.
Okung is considered one of America's top offensive linemen. He was a first-team all-Big 12 selection as a junior and is the ringleader of a Cowboy offensive line that ranks fourth nationally in fewest sacks allowed in 2009. OSU has led the Big 12 Conference in rushing all three seasons in which Okung has been a starter.
The Houston native and graduate of Bush High School has started 39 straight games heading into this weekend's matchup with Missouri. He became a starter in the OSU offensive line a true freshman in 2006.
Twice in his career, Okung, who is closing in on a degree in marketing, has shut down America's top pass rusher. In the 2007 Insight Bowl, Indiana's Greg Middleton entered the game leading the nation in quarterback sacks. He did not record a tackle in OSU's win over the Hoosiers.
Texas A&M's Von Miller led the nation in quarterback sacks entering last weekend. Against Okung and the Cowboys, he did not record a sack in OSU's 36-31 win in College Station.
In alphabetical order, the 12 semifinalists are:
Terrence Cody, Alabama, NG
Rennie Curran, Georgia, LB
Carlos Dunlap, Florida, DE
Jerry Hughes, TCU, DE
Rolando McClain, Alabama, LB
Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma, DT
Eric Norwood, South Carolina, LB
Russell Okung, Oklahoma State, LT
George Selvie, South Florida, DE
Brandon Spikes, Florida, LB
Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, DT
Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, LB